Teenage chess champ from Gorleston plucked to play with England team

Lynn Grove Academy student Karthik Saravanan, 13, who has been selected for the England junior chess

Lynn Grove Academy student Karthik Saravanan, 13, who has been selected for the England junior chess team to play in Poland next month with the shirt he will wear. - Credit: Archant

A Gorleston student has been selected to be part of the England junior chess team to compete in Poland next month.

Karthik Saravanan, who attends Lynn Grove Academy, will represent England in the seven-strong junior team after playing chess seriously for just three years.

He made his debut with the junior team last summer when he travelled to Greece and enjoyed impressive wins with coached from a grandmaster.

The 13-year-old's passion for chess began aged nine after he was given a chess game for his Nintendo DS for Christmas.

'I enjoyed it so much I went on to join Lowestoft Chess Club and it went from there. I started really serious chess when I was 10,' he said.

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His ambition now is to be a grandmaster – as well as pursue a medical career as a surgeon.

Karthik practices for about an hour a day three or four days a week and was delighted to be chosen last year to Greece.

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'I enjoy chess because it stimulates your brain and gets you to think strategically,' he added.

'I am really looking forward to Poland in half term. I am hoping to do well. I am proud of what I have done.'

Karthik, who also enjoys playing tennis and cricket, will travel to Trxebimia with the squad where five days' chess is planned.

Soon after he started to play in the Norfolk league with Lowestoft Chess Club, his team was promoted to the second division and two years ago he was presented with the best under 11 prize for tournament points.

Alison Mobbs, head teacher at Lynn Grove, said staff and pupils were proud of Karthik.

'It is an exceptional achievement to be selected for a national squad, especially for chess, and we will all be rooting for him in Poland and watching him as he progresses,' she added.

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