Harpenden’s 10-year-old chess star selected for England

A HARPENDEN schoolgirl is hoping to deliver more than one checkmate later this month when she represents England in Europe.

Asha Jina, who is just 10 years old, will travel to Albena in Bulgaria to take part in the European Youth Chess Championships after being selected to represent England by the English Chess Federation.

The Wood End Primary pupil began playing chess four years ago and her tournament performances have wowed game fans up and down the country, where she has taken on some of the strongest junior players.

Asha said she was really pleased to be selected to play for England. “I am really excited about going to Bulgaria. I have been working very hard and look forward to some good games of chess against the strongest players from countries like Russia and Ukraine.”

In preparation, Asha is tackling puzzles and analysing her games with national junior coach Lorin D’Costa. She’s also been practising with her older brother Taran, 11, who has represented England.

Asha began playing chess at the Harpenden Junior Chess Club and got her first real taste for the game when she defeated a 14-year-old player. She then played for the Hertfordshire Under Nines team when she was just six. Asha also represented England South East regional teams and won a number of trophies in local and national tournaments.