Q&A: Freshman competes in world chess competition

Freshman+Amy+Lei+at+the+World+Youth+Chess+Championship+in+Mumbai%2C+India+where+is+she+currently+competing.
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Q&A: Freshman competes in world chess competition

Freshman Amy Lei at the World Youth Chess Championship in Mumbai, India where is she currently competing.

Freshman Amy Lei at the World Youth Chess Championship in Mumbai, India where is she currently competing.

Courtesy Elshan Moradi

Freshman Amy Lei at the World Youth Chess Championship in Mumbai, India where is she currently competing.

Courtesy Elshan Moradi

Courtesy Elshan Moradi

Freshman Amy Lei at the World Youth Chess Championship in Mumbai, India where is she currently competing.

Haley Michel, Staff Writer

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Freshman Amy Lei is competing in the World Youth Chess Championship in Mumbai, India this October.

When did you start playing chess?

“I’ve been playing since I was seven years old. My dad taught me how to play chess, and so I went to a chess class when I was younger, and then I played with the other people there for a few years and then I played in tournaments when I was ten years old. Right now I am just continuing to play because I just really love the game and it’s really unique”

How do chess tournaments work?

“It’s basically a bunch of games where there’s a clock involved. Each person who’s playing hits the clock when they make their move, so they only have a limited time to make the moves. Once you win games or lose games you play with opponents who won or lost similar amounts of games. That’s how you win a tournament, you just keep on winning.”

What is a memorable moment you had playing chess?

“I went to this tournament and my chess rating hadn’t been going up for a while. It was staying in place at 1500 and at that tournament it finally jumped to 1600 so that was a really special tournament for me. It wasn’t a big tournament, but for me it was because my rating started going up after that and it was kind of like a turning point.”

What skills have you learned from playing chess that have helped you in school or other areas of life?

“You really have to manage your time because with the clock it can be really stressful, but you have to make sure that you don’t lose all your time all at once. It also helps you deal with loss….because chess games can be played for over five hours so it can be really upsetting to finally lose it from one fatal move, but those have to be dealt with”

What would you like students at Algonquin to know about chess that they might not otherwise know?

“I would like them to know that it’s not just a mind game, but it’s also a psychological game. People just think of it as just using the brain, but really there’s a lot of psychology involved because, for example, when people are playing they might sacrifice a piece not because objectively it’s good but because it puts psychological pressure on their opponent. It’s a game of many aspects, not just a brain game.”

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