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  5. Bodhana Sivanandan, 8-year-old British Indian schoolgirl, named Europe's best female player

Bodhana Sivanandan, 8-year-old British Indian schoolgirl, named Europe's best female player

Bodhana Sivanandan defeated an International master and drew with a grandmaster on her way to a European championship win. She has become the talk of the town on social media after her historic achievement of becoming the "super talented" best female player at a European championship.

Written By: Varun Malik @varunm0212 New Delhi Published on: December 21, 2023 12:21 IST
Bodhana Sivanandan chess
Image Source : PTI Bodhana Sivanandan.

An eight-year-old British Indian schoolgirl named Bodhana Sivanandan has become the talk of the town on social media as she has been named as the "super talented" best female player at a European championship. Bodhana, who hails from Harrow in north-west London, has won the European Blitz Chess Championship in Zagreb, Croatia and has defeated some of the best players in the tournament.

The 8-year-old prodigy defeated an international master and drew with a grandmaster on her way to the win. She scored a total of 8.5/13 at the Croatia event. "Eight-year-old super talented Bodhana Sivanandan (ENG, 1944) made an astonishing result in the Blitz competition. She scored 8.5/13 points to win the first women's prize and earn 211.2 blitz ELO points," said the European Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships.

The prodigy also opened on her historic win. "I always try my best to win, sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't," Bodhana told the BBC after her win. Her father, Siva Sivanandan, said that she always looks to give her best and it has worked for her. "She likes chess and she likes travelling.

We keep trying and keep going," he added.

Bodhana was invited by British PM Rishi Sunak

Notably, the British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had invited the chess star as part of the government’s new GBP 1 million investment package for chess. The package helps children in disadvantaged areas across England to learn and play chess, availability of the game and fund and improve visibility.

"I was struggling to support my son with the required chess tournaments and coaching instrumental to his development at such a young and crucial age,” Jitendra Singh, father of a nine-year-old Shreyas Royal, said. "With this grant from the government, we will be able to help more kids flourish at the game through the hard-working organisations of the English Chess Federation and chess in schools and communities.
I believe that it is also a very beneficial hobby and would love to see more people getting into the game from this monumental announcement,” he added.

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