A YOUNG girl has made her smartest move yet after being crowned a national chess champion.
Isabel Cotogni beat off competition from across the country to be named All England Girls Under-12s Chess Champion.
The title means her dad Stephen, 47, and her older male competitors at Worsley Chess Club don’t have to feel quite so bad at being beaten by a 12-year-old girl.
Isabel, of Woodstock Drive, Worsley, said: “I’m really pleased because I didn’t expect to win so when I won all my matches I was really happy.
“I travel all over the country, I meet new people and I like it as a hobby.
“People think it’s quite a nerdy game but you do meet some new people.
“It is the biggest thing I’ve won but I’ve won quite a few competitions.”
As well as practicing her moves against her dad and members of the chess club Isabel also has weekly tuition from chess coach Andrew Wilson who encourages her to think more tactically.
On top of all this Isabel, who is also Salford’s reigning girls champion, is set to receive some expert tuition from a grandmaster.
Her prize for winning the competition is 10 hours of grandmaster coaching and three trophies.
Isabel, who is gearing up to play in the Northern Gigafinal this weekend, said: “I’m really looking forward to it.
“I really have to work hard and I play my dad every night.
“I will definitely carry on playing as I get older but I’m not sure if I’ll become a grandmaster, I think I might want to do something with science.”
Mum Ellen, 42, said she is very proud of her daughter but steers well clear of facing her across the chess board.
She added: “I’m very proud of her, she works very hard.
“I haven’t got the patience for chess.
“She beats Stephen all the time but he just takes it on the chin.”