Chess takes 14-yearold around the world

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - By Ni­cole Vil­lal­pando nvil­lal­pando@states­

Emily Nguyen was 4 when she found a chess set at the Round Rock Pub­lic Li­brary. “She wanted to move the chess pieces, she wanted to play,” her mother, Uyen Tran, says.

Soon, her fa­ther, Nam Nguyen, was teach­ing her as he had her older brother, An­thony. A year later, Emily was com­pet­ing in tour­na­ments.

“I like cal­cu­lat­ing ev­ery­thing and know­ing I have the power to do what­ever I want with all the pieces,” she says. “It’s a strat­egy game.”

Now the ninth-grader at West­wood High School is about to com­pete as one of the top 12 women in the United States. She won the U.S. Ju­nior Girls Cham­pi­onship last sum­mer and has been ranked as high as No. 9 in the world for ju­nior girls un­der 16, which is the most com­pet­i­tive level for that age.

Next week, she’ll be in St. Louis at the Chess Club and Scholas­tic Cen­ter of Saint Louis to com­pete fo­ras hare of $100,000 in prize money dur­ing the two-week U.S. Women’s Cham­pi­onships. That means she’ll be com­pet­ing against both teens and adults.


Emily Nguyen, 14, loves the knight be­cause it can jump over other pieces.


Emily and her fam­ily of­ten get to sight­see in the coun­tries they visit, like ex­plor­ing ru­ins in Peru.

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