Student Spotlight: Daniel Sun
Saturday, March 6, 2010 at 12:05 a.m.

Daniel Sun, 9, bested his opponent last month in the San Diego Winter Scholastic Chess Championship at the San Diego Chess Club in Balboa Park. Daniel lost one game.

“I was beat by one of my best friends, so I’m sort of still recovering from that, but otherwise, I won every other game,” he said. “I also beat the person who got first place last tournament, when I got second, so I’m happy about that.”

Daniel is in the fourth grade at Dingeman Elementary School in Scripps Ranch. His father taught him to play chess when Daniel was in kindergarten. He later joined the San Diego Chess Club so he could improve. He plays a few times each week and recently started watching a DVD of multiple world champion chess player Susan Polgar.

“I learned a lot, like what to do in a position. If there’s a certain position, I can think about whatever I want to do.”

Daniel said he likes playing because he believes the game improves his skills in planning and thinking. He said his dad thinks chess will help him in school and possibly help him earn a scholarship.

How would he rate his dad as a chess player?

“He’s not really good. I can beat him,” Daniel said.

When he isn’t mastering strategies on the chess board, Daniel likes P.E., math and art — in that order.

He likes math because he finds it interesting, especially when his teacher brings in brownies to explain fractions or the number of chocolate chips in each cookie to illustrate multiplication.

He’s not sure what he wants to be when he grows up — maybe a professional basketball player who plays chess for fun.

— Lisa Deaderick


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