Tuesday 20th February 2024
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An 8-year-old British Tamil girl crowned best female chess player

An 8-year-old British Tamil school girl, who got into chess “accidentally”, is crowned best female player at European chess tournament in Zagreb, Croatia at the weekend.

Bodhana Sivanandan from Harrow in north-west London, described as a ‘phenomenon,’ made Chess history after beating an international master 30 years her senior, and drew with a grandmaster.

She was awarded the under-12 prize, as well as finishing top of the English contingent but there was a one-prize-per-player rule, so she chose the women’s award.

Bodhana’s father, Sivanandan Velayutham, said “She’s trying her best. And it worked in favour of her. She was curious and interested, so I started taking her around the English Chess Federation and the people in England who play chess and support chess; they are very friendly and very supportive,” he told the Today presenter Martha Kearney.

Asked if she went into the tournament expecting to win, she replied: “I always try my best to win all the tournaments, all the games. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t.”