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12-year-old Richmond chess player to compete in World Cup

Joanne Wangluo, who has been playing chess for one and a half years, will showcase her talent on the world stage
Joanne Wangluo, 12, has shown a great talent for chess.

A young chess star is rising in Richmond. 

Joanne Wangluo, a 12-year-old member of the Richmond Chess Champions club, will represent Team Canada in June, competing in the first World Cup for youngsters in the Republic of Georgia.

It has only been a year and half since Joanne was first exposed to chess. 

"I'm surprised [to be selected]. I never thought of myself as better at chess than others," said Joanne, a Grade 6 student at Tecumseh elementary in Vancouver.

In 2022, Joanne's older sister wanted to learn to play chess so their parents put both sisters in a chess class. Soon after, teachers found Joanne could beat her sister as well as many other students in the class.

Last year, she participated in the Canadian Youth Chess Championship in Calgary. It was the first time Joanne participated in a major chess tournament and she had to compete against opponents who had much higher ratings, so she didn't expect to achieve a good result.

But to everyone's surprise, Joanne only lost one game out of seven and came in eighth, according to the club. The longest game took four hours.

She was then invited by the Chess Federation of Canada (CFC) to join Team Canada for the World Cup.

"[Chess is] like a puzzle that I enjoy solving," said Joanne, who spends on average an hour and a half per day playing.

"I don't think of myself as 'good,' there are plenty of people ahead of me. But to get where I am, I have to thank my parents and chess coaches."

Joanne said she loves chess and plans to continue playing chess as a life-long hobby. 

The inaugural World Cup for young chess players, hosted by the International Chess Federation, will take place from June 22 to July 3 in Batumi, Georgia.

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