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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Vietnamese schoolgirl supports her family with chess

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

We find many touching stories relating to chess players' lives. Here is one from Vietnam.

Playing chess at the age of eight, Nhu Y has won more than 100 medals from local, regional and international competitions, including over 30 gold and silver medals from Southeast Asian chess events since 2003.

“Playing chess has helped me overcome difficulties in life. When I was a child, I was very fragile and cried very often. I used to be familiar with love and protection of my parents,” she said.

Nhu Y’s mother passed away when she was 8. Her father, a motorbike taxi driver, only earned enough to feed his two daughters, Nhu Y and her younger sister – Y Nhi.

Nhu Y studied playing chess with her teacher at primary school. She attended the chess tournament for kids of Hue city in the same year and didn’t win any prizes. She did not play chess for a year before practicing chess for five days to participate in Hue city’s chess tournament for kids and won the third prize. She was convened to Thua Thien – Hue province’s chess team in May 2002. Practicing for only three months, Nhu Y won three silver and one gold medal at the National Young Chess Championship 2002.

Ever since she has won several awards in Vietnam and abroad. Nhu Y is studying at the National Sports Training Center in HCM City.

“My hidden strength is my will to defeat my rivals to win bonuses to help my family,” Nhu Y said. Her father is very weak and he cannot work now. Nhu Y has become the mainstay of her family with her chess earnings.

Nhu Y said she is luckier than her friends of the same age because thanks to chess she has been able to travel to many countries in the world and make new friends. “Most of my chess friends wish to visit Vietnam. Some of them have come here through my introduction. I will try to learn English to better introduce Vietnam to my friends,” she said.

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