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A delegation of 21 players, accompanied by 4 coaches and led by Andrew Camp will be attending the World Youth and Cadets Chess Championships. These are held in Porto Carras, Greece, from 24 October to 6 November.
HEAD OF DELEGATION
Andrew is Chairman of the North Wales Junior Chess Association and the North Wales representative to the Welsh Chess Union. He teaches at Rydal Penrhos Preparatory School in Colwyn Bay, where he has introduced chess into the curriculum, now starting in Y1.
He is also a “chess parent”, his daughter Imogen also being part of the Wales team at the Worlds this year.Under the auspices of the NWJCA, Andrew runs junior tournaments and coaching events, as well as the annual adult Colwyn Bay Congress, and represents the region on the Junior Selection Committee. Andrew was previously Head of Delegation for Wales at the European Youth Championships in Prague in 2012.
Olivia Smith is Head Coach for the Welsh delegation to the World Youth Championships.
Several times Welsh Ladies Champion, Olivia regularly coaches juniors and has accompanied teams to several previous international events.
Hey I'm Alex and I am the 3 time Welsh U21 Champion. I represented Wales in three WYCCs as a junior and am now delighted to be invited again, as a coach.
I have been teaching chess both privately and in schools for almost three years now and coaching at the WYCC will be a new challenge for me, but one which I am certainly looking forward to.
Hello I'm Tihana, I am 20 years old and live in Zagreb, Croatia.
I am a Women's FIDE Master and I have played in the WYCC on four occasions. I am now very much looking forward to attending the tournament as a coach.
I am studying to be a teacher and so am experienced at and enjoy working with children.
Hi, I'm Tom Thorpe. I'm currently an undergraduate student at the University of Warwick. I learned to play chess when I was 12, so quite a late-starter in the grand scheme of things.
I have lived in Bristol all my life, but came over to play in Wales when I was 14 and have gone on from there. I've played in three World Youth championships for Wales, but to be a coach in Greece this year is a new and exciting challenge and I can't wait!
Nick Evans (Open U18)
Hi, I'm Nick. I've been playing chess for 8 years now and I learned to play chess with my Grandpa. I'm the current Welsh U18 and joint Welsh U21 Champion, this is my third World Youth Chess Championship (previously in Brazil 2011 and Slovenia 2012). I've also played in the European Youth Chess Championships (Prague 2012) and in the European Club Cup (Rhodes 2013).
I started playing chess at Craig-Y-Nos school and now play league chess with White Knights Chess Club. I have received coaching from John Thornton, Tim Kett, Ioan Rees, Lawrence Cooper, Adam Hunt and Alan Young. A special thank you goes to Mr Ian Eustis for teaching me my first openings.
Ben Choo Yin (Open U14)
Hello I am Ben Choo Yin I am 13 and have been playing chess since I was 8. Three years ago I went to the World Youth Championships in Slovenia which was a great experience and I hope that this time will be just as good. When I am not playing chess I swim competitively for Cardiff swimming club. I would like to thank my primary school teacher Mr Sweetnam and my dad for first getting me into chess; my coaches Tim Kett, John Thornton and now Alex Bullen; My head teacher for allowing me time off; all the people who help organise the Welsh chess and the two chess clubs Cardiff and North Cardiff who have helped me over the years and provided me with regular chess matches in their league teams. Last but not least, I must thank my family for all their support and for accommodating my chess competitions in our family holidays!
Ben attends Bishop of Llandaff school
Karanvir Lutchman Singh (Open U14)
Karanvir was introduced to chess at the Cathedral School Chess club in year 2 and soon developed a passion for the game. He has won numerous titles over the years and is currently the joint U14 rapid play champion. He has represented Wales at the World Youth Chess Championships in Slovenia and Al-Ain. He has also played for Wales in the Stokes Cup and Robinson Cup.
Karanvir would like to thank Tim Kett, for inspiring a passion for the game, Kevin Thomas for encouraging chess in school, John Thornton for providing invaluable assistance at various championships, CCL Chess for advancing his chess skills and the Cathedral School for supporting him. Apart from Chess, Karanvir is a keen athlete, plays county level tennis and club cricket.
Karanvir attends The Cathedral School, Llandaff, Cardiff
James Evans (Open (U14)
Hi, my name is James, I am the joint U14 Welsh Chess Champion and have played chess for many years. I started because my brother played chess and began my journey at Upper Killay Chess Club. I now play for White Knights Chess Club in Llanelli.
I have been lucky enough to play for Wales at many events and hope to continue.
Many coaches – John Thornton, Tim Kett, Ioan Rees, Lawrence Cooper and Sabrina Chevannes, have helped me along the way. I am looking forward to playing in my third World Youth Chess Championship.
Chirag Guha (Open U12)
Chirag learnt to play chess at the age of seven, and started playing competitively soon after. He has so far represented Wales in international events including the European Union Youth Championship, Commonwealth Championship and World Youth Chess. Chirag’s biggest achievement in his chess career was last year when he won the British Chess Championship in his age group U10.
Chirag feels proud to be part of the Wales squad and hopes to make his federation proud in the upcoming World Youth event.
Besides chess, Chirag is keen on playing cricket, and is actively developing his skills through formal training at his local club.
Arjan Bolina (Open U12)
Arjan is the current Welsh U13 Champion and has represented Wales in several previous international events.
He started playing at primary school (Rydal Penrhos Prep School) showing great promise from an early age, where he was encouraged by his teacher Mr Andrew Camp. Arjan also plays regularly for Colwyn Bay Chess Club in the adult Chester & District League and for the Cheshire & North Wales county junior teams.
Arjan would like to thank all those who have helped him progress with his chess, including teachers, fellow club members and his coaches Tim Kett and Sabrina Chevannes.
Arjan attends Calday Grange Grammar School, Wirral
Ifan Rathbone-Jones (Open U12)
Hi, my name is Ifan Rathbone-Jones, age 11. I am really pleased and excited to have been chosen to represent Wales in the world youth chess in Greece this year. I have shown a great interest in playing chess from a early age, begging my teacher in school to let me play. I entered my 1st competition aged 8 and have been playing competitively ever since.
I am a member of the Mold/Buckley chess club, I represent my county - Cheshire & North Wales - and am in the junior squad for Wales.
I also enjoy playing football and swimming and I am interested in different languages.
Ifan attends Hawarden High School, Flintshire.
Robert Goodwin (Open U10)
Robert began playing chess at Sandycroft County Primary School when he was 7 years old. Inspired and encouraged by their chess teacher he is currently the North Wales Junior U10 Chess Champion, came 2nd in the Welsh U10 Chess Championships 2015 and is UK Chess Challenge U10 Supremo. He enjoys playing chess for his school team, Mold and Buckley Chess Club and Cheshire and North Wales County Team.
Robert has many other interests including football, cricket, judo, cub scouts and dance. He also enjoys playing the piano and performing.
Robert attends Sandycroft County Primary School, Deeside
Neil Stevenson (Open U10)
Neil's interest in chess can be traced back to the day he found a set at a holiday cottage on the south coast of Ireland. He persuaded his dad to teach him the rules of the game while on holiday, and his keenness did not abate when he returned home. In his first year at The Dell, when he came home from school he would devote many hours to mastering the moves of the pieces.
Neil had his first taste of success when winning the South Wales under 7 Megafinal, and the following year he went one better, winning the Gigafinal. He has also had success with teams from his school, The Dell, Chepstow, which won the Cardiff Stadium teams-of-ten event in 2015 and participated in the ECF under 11 national finals this summer.
Those to thank for Neil's development are his tireless, enthusiastic and supportive regular coach Tim Kett, the leaders of Chepstow Town Junior Chess Club, and Tom Thorpe, who has helped to prepare him for this event.
Neil also plays cricket and hockey.
Neil attends The Dell School, Chepstow
Ethan Chung (Open U8)
Ethan started playing chess when he was five years old when he received his first chess set for Christmas.
Ethan is a keen chess player for his school chess club and plays regularly for his local league team.
He was the Ultimo in the Under 7 Delancey UK Chess Challenge and the winner of the Under 8 Cardiff and Vale School for two consecutive years.
Beside chess, he plays the violin and loves playing football.
Ethan attends St John's School, Cardiff
Imogen Camp (Girls U14)
Imogen learned to play chess when she was 4 years old, taught by her mum.
She played in her very first tournament – the British U8 Championships – when she was 7. Undeterred by losing all her games in that event, the experience inspired an even greater love of the game and encouraged her to study and play more. She went on to win her very next competition just a few months later – the U8 Cheshire & North Wales County Championships.
Five times British Champion (currently British U15 and U14 Girls Champion), Imogen plays for Colwyn Bay chess club in a local league, county level chess for Cheshire & North Wales and, since 2012, for Wales in international events.
Imogen would like to thank all those who have helped her achieve success in her chess: her parents for their support and encouragement (and giving up so many weekends to take her to tournaments!), fellow club members at Colwyn Bay, and her coaches Tim Kett and Sabrina Chevannes. She is also very grateful for all the support she has received for fundraising activities including the many donations from fellow chess players, family and friends and a grant from the Sir John Henry Morris Jones Trust Fund, without which she would not be able to play at the World Youth Championships.
As well as chess, Imogen loves netball and plays both piano and flute. Her favourite subjects at school are the sciences, especially physics. If she can’t make it as a chess Grandmaster, she’d like to be a doctor or do something in astrophysics.
Imogen attends Rydal Penrhos School, Colwyn Bay
Shayanna Sivarajasingam (Girls U14)
Shayanna started playing chess at the age of seven.
She won gold in the under 12 mixed section at the Commonwealth Championship held in Glasgow, 2014 and has also won several national titles including Ultima in the UK Chess Challenge, and UK&I and Welsh Girls Championships.
Her hobbies include horse riding, music and athletics.
Shayanna attends Howells School, Llandaff, Cardiff
Aishwarya Lutchman Singh (Girls U12)
Aishwarya was dragged to tournaments as her older brother played chess. Keen to emulate his achievements, she quickly improved her game and won the British Girls championship at the age of 8.
She has been Welsh girls Chess Champion 4 years in a row and is currently the joint U12 rapid play champion. She also holds the title of the U18 (joint) Welsh girls chess champion. She has represented Wales in the Stokes cup twice and the World Youth Chess Championships in Al -Ain.
Aishwarya would like to thank Tim Kett for inspiring a love of the game, Kevin Thomas for encouraging her to play despite being the only girl in a club full of boys, Olivia Smith for her constant encouragement, and invaluable coaching in tournaments, CCL chess for improving her chess by leaps and bounds and The Cathedral School Llandaff for supporting her.
Aishwarya also plays the recorder, is a long distance runner and represents her school in cross country running and rounders.
Aishwarya attends The Cathedral School, Llandaff, Cardiff
Neya Govindaraj (Girls U12)
I started playing chess at the age of 7. My recent achievements are winning the Welsh under 12 girls championship in 2015 and the Welsh junior rapid play championship in 2014 and 2nd place in the Welsh under 12 chess championship 2015.
My hobbies include gymnastics, playing the harp, dancing and singing and eating curly fries!
Looking forward to the WYCC 2015!
Neya attends Howell’s School, Llandaff
Susanna Fraser (Girls U12)
Susanna started playing chess when she was 6 years old.
She was the Welsh U9 Champion and Welsh Girls' U10 Champion in 2014, and is the current U11 Welsh Girls’ Champion.
Susanna was a member of the school team which won both the ECF National Schools Girls’ Championships and the Welsh Primary Schools Championships in 2015.
As well as playing chess, Susanna enjoys reading and the piano, and she loves playing with her cat. Susanna is very excited to have the opportunity to represent Wales in Greece at the World Youth Championships.
Susanna attends Howell’s School, Llandaff
Emily Wang (Girls U12)
Emily is 12 years old. She is the current U12 Welsh Girls' Champion and is a member of the Howell's School U11 National Schools (Girls) Championship 2015 winning team.
She has many people to thank in Welsh Chess, but principally her coach, John Thornton, and her dad, Ed Wang. She would also like to thank the Junior Committee for selecting her to play in this tournament.
Outside of chess, Emily plays flute in the CCVG Transitional Wind Band, and is working towards Grade 5 in Flute and Grade 4 in Musical Theatre.
Emily attends Howell’s School, Llandaff
Venetia Sivarajasingam (Girls U10)
Venetia started playing chess at school when she was six years old. She is the current under 10 British Champion, scoring 100 percent in a mixed field, and she was the 2014 British under 9 and 10 girls’ champion.
She broke the all-time Welsh highest score at the World Youth Chess Championship, UAE in 2013. Venetia also won bronze in the Commonwealth Championships held in Glasgow, 2014.
She loves reading and playing the violin and piano in her spare time.
Venetia attends Howells School, Llandaff, Cardiff
Hiya Ray (Girls U10)
I started playing chess when I was 6 years old. After a few months I started beating people at my chess club and I entered for the Staffordshire U7 Girl’s Championship and I won first place. I have won the Megafinals 3 times, the Gigafinals 2 times and I have qualified into the Terafinals 3 times. I have also won the British U9 Girl’s prize this year. I also like to play the piano, flute and violin. I also enjoy playing tennis, swimming and basketball at UWIC. I would like to give special thanks to all the people who have helped me to understand this fascinating and wonderful game.
Hiya attends St John's School, Cardiff
Nayana Kalavala (Girls U10)
Nayana Kalavala is in Year 5 at Howells School, Cardiff. She started playing chess at the age of 6. Nayana is part of School junior team and contributed to the team winning Welsh primary schools championship. She has won many regional and national tournaments. She feels playing chess is fun and looking forward to play in World Youth chess championship.
Nayana attends Howell’s School, Llandaff
Madeleine Smith (Girls U10)
Madeleine learnt to play chess at the Dell School Chepstow, and has since become part of the successful school team in various national events.
With attendance at the Chepstow town club and assistance from her coach, Tim Kett, she has represented Wales at several events and is the current Welsh U10 Rapidplay champion.
She also enjoys music, sports and reading.
Madeleine attends The Dell School, Chepstow