Agastya Kalra doesn’t even need to look at the board to beat his father at chess anymore.
The 12-year-old has been playing seriously since he was six, having learned the game of strategy and skill from his grandparents at the tender age of four. Back then he still lived in India, and chess was finally something he could do where he wouldn’t be out-matched by his cousins. In fact, even at four years of age, he could whoop both of them — one twice his age, the other six years his senior.
On March 19, the Ottawa boy will represent Canada at the world amateur chess championship in Chicago, having been unanimously chosen by the Chess Federation because of his dominance at the Canadian Amateur event in Kitchener.
“I was quite surprised when I first heard it,” said Kalra. “I never expected it.”
Others might not be so surprised — he is ranked among the top five players in his age group in Canada and has taken home hardware from tournaments all over Ontario and Quebec.
Because chess players square-off based on skill, not age, Kalra often finds himself up against opponents more than twice his age, and even more than his father’s age.
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