She has developed a passion and skills for the chess game within a year only. Chethanah Andhin, 15-year-old student from the Lycee La Bourdonnais, Curepipe, conquered the first place of the chess tournament MCB Junior Chess Open 2019. She shares how she learned the strategy game.
She did not really enjoy playing chess when she was at primary level. However, after winning her first competition, Chethanah Andhin started to develop a liking and passion for this game. “I learned to play chess at a young age, when I was still in primary school. Nevertheless, I did not play at all because I did not enjoy it. It was only in 2018, after winning, much to my surprise, the first U14 Competition of the MCB Junior Chess Open 2019 together with the support of my family and friends that I started to like this strategy game,” explained the 15-year-old girl.
The student from the Lycee La Bourdonnais, who won the first place in the chess tournament of this year’s MCB Junior Chess Open 2019 in the 15-18 age range, shares that she has many other hobbies besides chess. “From reading to knitting without forgetting chess, I enjoy moments away from the class in order to get away and relax. I also like to learn new languages like Mandarin and Russian.”
I learned to play chess at a young age, when I was still in primary school. Nevertheless, I did not play at all because I did not enjoy it. It was only in 2018, after winning, much to my surprise, the first U14 Competition of the MCB Junior Chess Open 2019 together with the support of my family and friends that I started to like this strategy game."
She confided that she has noticed differences in herself ever since she started playing chess with more urgency in 2018. “I discerned that my level of focusing consistently grew, whether it was in class or even at home. I can spend more time sitting and concentrating on whatever I am doing. I think that chess gives all its players positive aspects academically and even helps to increase their analytical skills in various situations,” said Chethanah.
She added that now she has a particular liking for chess. “It is because I like the way each stroke counts and even a stroke which can seem insignificant has a purpose. Each piece has its place and it is always fun for me to compare a chess game to the battlefield that is life: Let's follow the opening algorithm and go to school but we have to manage and make the right choices in the middle game and fight till the end game in order to win. And above all, never neglect a pawn that can become a lady! I also like the fact that chess makes you travel. During international meetings, we meet players from all over the world.”
Chethanah also shared that the chess game runs in the family. “My father, Jay Andhin, who is a pilot at Air Mauritius, was a good chess player in his youth and he transmitted his passion to me, my sister Tehja and my brother Vaagish. So we often play together and we even participated in Commonwealth Family Games in India in 2019, while being supported and encouraged every day by my mom Kenisha. This Indian game brought me to Batumi in Georgia with the wonderful and warm Mauritian female team. It was my first international tournament. It was a great experience and I dream of participating in the Moscow Olympiads in 2020.”
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