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Young Richmond chess players triumph at B.C. competition

'Let's spend less time on computer games and more on thinking,' says founder of Richmond chess club

Five young Richmond chess players brought home trophies from a provincial qualifying competition last week with two of them winning top spots.

At the BC Chess Challenge Qualifier 2 held on Jan. 28 in Vancouver, Bowen Wang, 5, and Derek Xu, 8, were the champions for their age groups, Aiden Yin, 9, received the runner-up position, and Andrew Yin, 9, and Jasper Zhang, 10, came in third.

The students are from the Richmond Chess Champions (RCC) club.

Along with others who received more than 50 per cent in scores in the qualifiers, they are qualified to attend the provincial final in April.

The winner of each age group will then represent B.C. in the 2024 National Chess Challenge - the B.C. team received the national championship title last year.

"It's great to see more children in Richmond have developed a passion for chess," said Tina Luo, founder of RCC.

The club was launched last year to promote and teach chess in Richmond. Since its launch, its member base has grown rapidly to more than 100, most of whom are young students from Richmond. 

"Many parents told us that their children used to think about playing computer games when they got home, but now they spend time practising chess instead or ask their parents to play it with them," said Luo.

Club hosts first chess championship 

To provide a stage for chess lovers at all levels, the club is hosting the first RCC Elite Chess Championship at Chaoyin Bilingual School on Bird Road on Feb. 11. 

"Many people are interested in chess but may not have the opportunity to compete in professional games. This championship is open to everyone and participants will compete with others at the same level," said Luo.

"We hope more people in Richmond will get to know the joy of playing chess. Let's spend less time on computer games and more on thinking."

The entry fee for the RCC Elite Chess Championship is $50 per person. The funds will be spent on the venue and judges, according to Luo.

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