Smart moves: Saaras Mehan, 11, who goes to Nottingham High School, has been selected to play chess for England.

11-year-old Nottingham chess player selected for England

SAARAS Mehan may only be 11, but he’s already been selected to play for England.

The youngster from West Bridgford is the 20th child in the county in ten years to be selected for the national chess team for his age group.

Saaras said: “I started playing chess when I was around five years old.

“I am really pleased that all the hard work I have put in has paid off.”

Proud mum Anshu Mehan, 42, has taken Saaras around the country for tournaments and is delighted at the news.

She said: “He has done really well to get this far.

“To get into contention for England you have to be ranked in the top 25 of your age group which is determined by how well you perform at competitions, so we are obviously very proud.”

Saaras’ ability is said to be very advanced for his age, and six months ago he started to try to develop his skills further.

Mrs Mehan added: “Saaras is now at a point where he is playing chess blindfolded, which helps develop his memory and logical thinking as he has to remember all 32 pieces of the chess board.”

Saaras owes a lot of his success to coach David Levens, 71, who has been at his side all the way.

Mr Levens said: “I am thrilled, I have been coaching him for a long time now.

“I’m the head coach but a lot of praise has to go to all the other coaches in Nottinghamshire as well, because everybody always comments how good the chess players are in this area.”

Mr Levens added: “Chess has got an image problem in this country.

“I lost a very promising player recently because as soon as he started secondary school he was bullied out of the game.”

Here is the full article.

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