Check out sisters hoping to become UK queens of chess
9:30am Saturday 17th August 2013 in Oxford
By Katriona Ormiston, Reporter

YOU may checkmate one but you’d be lucky to beat them both. Because two sisters from Oxford are a force to be reckoned with at the finals of the Delancey UK Schools’ Chess Challenge this weekend.

Maria and Anna Wang, 17 and 14 respectively, have their heads down today trying to claim the national title of schools’ chess champion.

Although boys usually claim the top spot at chess tournaments, Maria and Anna put up a strong challenge for the girls.

Another Oxford High School student, Elizaveta Sheremetyeva, and Marcus Harvey from Marlborough School in Woodstock made it through to the final 69 out of 50,000 entrants from 2,000 UK schools.

But while Elizaveta is abroad, the Wang sisters and Marcus are fighting their corner for the county in Loughborough this weekend.

Championship organiser Mike Basman said: “Oxford has a history of producing strong players.

“It produces the prime ministers of this country and you can’t say that for Cambridge. Oxford girls are more confident than other girls.”

He added that Maria and Anna were the favourites for the girls’ title but they faced a very tough challenge for the overall title.

Maria was the UK Chess Challenge Under-18 Girls’ Champion in 2011 while Anna is the current British Chess Under-15 Girls’ Champion.

The sisters, from Vourne Close, in Cutteslowe, grew up in Oxford and have been playing for 10 years.

Their nine-year-old sister Eva is following close behind. She learnt chess at the age of four and already plays in tournaments.

Maria said: “We are hoping for the best but we will see how it goes. It is a fun game to play. You are thinking, planning strategy, and concentrating.”

Anna said: “I like playing against boys because it is a different style. Boys are always a challenge so it is nice when I beat them.”

The girls’ mother Susan Li said: “I am proud. It builds up strength and competitiveness.”

Their father Hui Wang takes them to competitions.

They will play three games today and three tomorrow at Loughborough Grammar School from 9am until 6pm.


Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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