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Chess Highlights From Dubai

Thursday, 09 January 2014

Chess star Mahima Raghavendra from Year 6 is now back in school after returning from the United Arab Emirates with another international chess championship under her belt. She and Hesketh House old girl Sharon Daniel, now in Year 7 at the Girls’ Division, travelled out to compete in the 2013 World Youth Chess Championships in December, and both really enjoyed the experience.

Mahima explained that when they arrived in Dubai there wasn’t really time for sight-seeing, but this was a good thing as it meant that the focus was on the chess, allowing her to perform better. The girls also received coaching at the event from grand master chess players. Mahima was fortunate enough to meet Jovanka Houska, winner of the British Women’s Chess Championship in 2012, who offered her tips and advice. “She was nice, and I think I definitely came out a better chess player,” Mahima remembered.

She managed to rank 121st within her age group, which is a brilliant achievement as the competition was much tougher than youth competitive chess in the UK. However, Mahima has no plans to stop now: she wants to continue to improve her game, and hopes to compete at the British Chess Championships this year as well as in mixed competitions.

Of the 146 players who attended the event and competed in the Girls Under 12 category, Sharon came in 80th. She is now looking forward to her next competition, the European Schools Championships in June which will take place in Kavala, Greece. In the meantime, she will be taking part in the National Schools Chess Championships as part of the Girls’ Division team.

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Mahima first discovered the game at Hesketh House

Mahima first discovered the game at Hesketh House's Chess Club, where she still plays

Mahima considers her next move

Mahima considering her next move

Sharon now plays for the Girls

Sharon now plays for the Girls' Division chess team