Phoenix girl, 7, wins South African Junior Chess Championship
Kaylee, 7, of Trenance Manor in Phoenix, competed against 260 participants from across Africa. She came second.
“I dreamt of getting a chess title but people told me I am too little and it would take a long time to achieve,” she said. “I proved them wrong.”
She went on to play in the 11th annual Jacob Zuma Chess Foundation Tournament and won first place in the Under-15 division.
Last week, the Grade 3 pupil at Hopeville Primary School won the U-8 Blitz Chess Champion title at the South African Junior Chess Championship in Boksburg.
Kaylee became fond of chess after watching a video last April.
“I became curious and interested in the game, so my parents downloaded more videos for me to learn.
“When they bought me my first chess set, I felt alive. I wanted to play other chess players, and that was when my parents found out about an upcoming tournament.”
At her first tournament, the eThekwini Youth Trials Under-10, she placed first and received the Best Junior Performer award.
“I love chess. I control the pieces. I can move these little pieces and make it do great things. I love the feeling when I checkmate my opponent.”
Her elder sister, Cadence, often plays with her.
“I want to become an international or grand chess master. I also want to teach other children to play chess, so they can experience what I have. Even though it may seem hard at first, don’t give up.”
Her mother, Shannon, said she was proud of her daughter.
“She is a little girl from Phoenix who has shown the world that nothing is impossible.”