Chess prodigy Jaden, 12, vying for place on England squad
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
Chess is a game which presents a challenge to even the brightest of minds.
But for Jaden Jermy, the highly intellectual hobby is a walk in the park.
The 12-year-old began playing chess five years ago, after being introduced to it by a friend.
From this first encounter, the Thetford Grammar School student discovered a natural aptitude for the tactical pursuit which allowed him to power his way to the top of his game.
Since winning his first trophy at the age of eight at a tournament in Holland, where he was named best UK performer, he has gone on win numerous other titles at competitions around the UK and has held the title of Suffolk Champion for his age group for two years running.
His latest achievement is his biggest to date. Following a joint fourth finish in the London Chess Championships – during which he took on seven players of a much higher grade – he has been invited to trials for the England under 18s squad later this month.
The young star was invited to take part in the London competition after coming joint first in the under 11s category at a national tournament in Manchester – one of the top 200 juniors out of 45,000 applicants.
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Jaden said; 'I like the thinking in chess. It is a nice calm game.
'Getting into the trials for the England team, it feels good to know that I am of that level after a lot of years.
'I am a bit nervous, but also confident now I have got my set opening.
'My mum is proud, and my school are also proud of what I have accomplished.'
His mother Michelle Jermy said: 'This year, to see the amount of study he puts in and his progression without professional coaching is amazing.'
Jaden now plays for three chess clubs – two in Bury St Edmunds and one in Thetford.
In April 2016 he was named most improved player at the Bury Knights Junior Chess Club.
He also spends time practising at home, where he can hone his favourite plays: the London System and the Pirc Defence.