A NINE-YEAR-OLD is making all the right moves in an effort to become the next big chess sensation.
Originally from Korea, Daniel Kim first stumbled upon a chess set while living in Canada and quickly began to learn the rules.
Then following a move across the Atlantic, the Lillington Primary School pupil opted to join Coventry Chess Academy where he has established himself as one of the group’s leading players.
Aged just eight, he managed to secure third place in his first ever adult tournament and more recently scooped Warwickshire’s under-10 chess championship.
And academy director Paul Lam – himself a former England international chess player – believes Daniel is capable of reaching the highest levels of the game.
He told The Observer: “I’ve been impressed by how well Daniel has adapted to his new surroundings and can safely say he is perhaps the most talented young player I have had the pleasure of working with.
“Kids are very impulsive but Daniel’s approach is very considered – he calculates five or six moves ahead. His vision is incredible and he is able to grasp sophisticated concepts, which would be way above a child of his age normally.
“I wasn’t even playing chess competitively at his age but he regularly beats adults and occasionally plays at Leamington Chess Club where he gives even their best players a good game.”
And Paul is convinced Daniel has the ability to go a long way in the game.
“He’s definitely got a lot of natural talent but as a coach, I’m always trying to bring the best out of him and encourage him to think outside the box.
“To improve as a player, it’s about getting more games against better players so he can be challenged and learn from those experiences.
“Daniel has come on in leaps and bounds in the last six months so if he continues to make progress at this rate, I genuinely think he can reach the top level in the next ten years.”
Email Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information about Coventry Chess Academy.