Checkmate! Brentwood Preparatory School pupil, Nina Pert, has surpassed all expectations to take two titles at the 103rd British Chess Championships in Bournemouth.
Nina, who is in Year Three at the Prep, played superbly, and defied the rankings, to win both the British Under 8 Girls’ and British Under 9 Girls’ Chess Championships at the Bournemouth Pavilion.
And Nina has proved she is a chip off the old block as her dad, Richard Pert, is an International Master who recently became the 2016 English Chess Rapidplay champion.
A proud Mr Pert said: “Nina competed on Saturday 23rd July in the British U8 championship and even though she was one of the strongest girls in the event there were a few with higher rankings. She played superbly to win the title of British U8 Girls’ Chess Champion.
“She then competed on Sunday 24th & Monday 25th July in the British Under 9 Chess Championship and totally surpassed expectations by winning the British U9 Girls’ Chess Champion title too - playing up an age group!”
Eight-year-old Nina, who practices at Brentwood School and Chelmsford Junior club, was making her debut at the British championships and pitted her wits against the best national players with 70 boys and girls competing in the Under 8 category and 85 in the Under 9s.
Mr Pert, who has represented England on numerous occasions and is Essex’s top ranked player and current champion, explained: “I enjoy playing and didn't want to go to events and leave my family at home and so I taught my children so they could come too.
“My aim was to get Nina and her six-year-old brother Max to a sufficient level so they could compete, however, I didn't realise that Nina and her brother would also become very accomplished players!”
He added: “There are other children at the tournament who play more than Nina but she has a good feel for the game and seems to be very good at sitting down and concentrating. I'm very proud of Nina. Chess is one of things which I tend to do with the children and so to see Nina succeed in that area is fantastic. She has many other interests too.
And one day Mr Pert will face stiff competition from his daughter. “She's a long way off reaching my level but for her age she is very good,” he said. “Even so she wasn't favourite to win either title as there were other higher ranked girls in both events so it's a great achievement to win both.”
Preparatory School Headmaster, Jason Whiskerd, added: “We are delighted that Nina's outstanding commitment to chess has resulted in such a great achievement at national level. We are committed to providing a suitable platform for our talented chess players at Brentwood and this latest success follows a hugely popular inaugural Prep tournament held in May.”