Potential chess grand master, 11, from Glasgow, heads to China

An eleven-year-old Glasgow schoolboy has been selected to represent Scotland at the World Cadets Chess Championship in China.

Aryan Mushi from Glasgow, who will compete in chess championship in China.
Aryan Mushi from Glasgow, who will compete in chess championship in China.

Aryan Munshi, a pupil at Kelvinside Academy in the city, will compete in Weifang, in eastern China, at under-12 level next month, after his talent was spotted by national team selectors.

Aryan, who was taught to play chess by his father when he was only five years old, will take on young players from around the world at the elite chess tournament which comprises of 11 rounds over 12 days.

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The S1 pupil from Glasgow said a great deal of what he had achieved was down to the help and support he had received from others over the years.

“I feel really proud to have been selected to participate in the World Cadets Chess Championship.

“Although when I compete, I’m out there on my own, I wouldn’t have made it this far without the support of my parents, coaches, teachers and team-mates.

“I am extremely lucky to be able to travel the world playing the game I love. I hope I can do Kelvinside Academy and my country proud.”

Earlier this month, Aryan travelled to Manchester to take part in the Gigafinals for Delancey UK Schools’ Chess Challenge, the world’s largest chess competition.

His performance in the under-11 age category earned him a place in the Challengers round and a shot at reaching the Terafinal.

He also won the Supremo Trophy at the Megafinal for under-11 boys earlier this year.

Dan Wyatt, rector at Kelvinside Academy, said: “Aryan is an incredibly talented chess player and he has already achieved so much in the game at such a young age.

“Everyone at Kelvinside Academy is extremely proud of his achievements and we’ll all be rooting for him when he competes in Weifang.

“We’re very lucky to have so many talented pupils at the school, and we’ll always do everything we can to help them explore and follow their passions.”

A two-year study by Dr Stuart Marguilies, of the American Chess Foundation, found learning chess improved reading test scores and reading performance in elementary schools.

Another study by Peter Dauvergne, professor of international relations at the University of British Columbia, who is also a chess master, concluded playing chess could raise IQ scores, strengthen problem solving skills, enhance memory and foster creative thinking.

Chess Scotland says it is aware of approximately 5,000 players, half of them being juniors.