Yasmin (14) selected to play in the ‘Chess Olympics’ in Chennai

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A 14-YEAR-OLD chess prodigy has been chosen as one of five players to represent the Island in an international competition this summer.

Yasmin Forbes, a pupil at Jersey College for Girls, is the youngest member of Jersey’s women’s team competing in the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai in India.

More than 2,000 chess players from 200 countries across the world will take part in the competition – organised by the Fédération Internationale des Échecs and described as the ‘Chess Olympics’.

It involves teams of five, with four team members playing each day. There is an Open Olympiad – including both male and female players – and a Women’s Olympiad. This is the first time that Jersey has sent a team to the Women’s Olym-piad.

The other members are Monika Ashbrooke, Lula Roberts, Rachel Ruddy and Yasmin’s friend Daisy Carpenter, aged 16.

Yasmin has been playing chess for ten years now, having started at the age of four by playing against her father. He is also competing in the Chess Olympiad as part of the open team.

She said: ‘It wasn’t particularly hard to learn the rules as it was introduced to me at a very young age.

‘What appeals to me most in chess is probably the strategic side, and how you always have to think ahead of the game and try and understand what your opponent is thinking.’

Earlier this year, Yasmin took part in Jersey’s inaugural Women’s Chess Championship, finishing fourth with five wins and three losses. Her performance there led Jersey captain Graham Mooney to select her for the women’s team.

Yasmin travels a lot to train and compete, although Covid restrictions over the past couple of years have limited her options.

‘Usually, I go to England at least once a year for chess, and I might go to Latvia soon for another chess competition,’ she said.

The Chess Olympiad takes place from 28 July and 10 August and Yasmin says she is ‘immensely excited’ about taking part.

‘I have represented Jersey before in county events, and have been Hampshire Girls champion three times in the last four events, but to play in a Chess Olympiad is going to be a completely different level from county events,’ she said.

‘It is quite scary being the youngest member. However, my friend Daisy is going with me so it will make it much more fun.’

Yasmin is also hoping to take part in the 2024 competition, to be held in Budapest.

The Jersey women’s team said they were grateful to be supported by Chess.com, Chessable, and SaSo Strategic Advisors for the 2022 FIDE Olympiad.

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