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Young Chess Prodigy Joins England Women's Team

Bodhana Sivanandan, aged nine, from Harrow, London, will join the England Women’s Team at the Chess Olympiad in Hungary. She is set to become the youngest England player ever in any sport, being almost 15 years younger than her next teammate, Lan Yao, aged 23.

Bodhana discovered chess during the pandemic and has since won all three under-eight chess world championships two years ago—classical, rapid, and blitz. She practices an hour daily, with more sessions on weekends.

Malcolm Pein, the England chess team manager, describes her as the most remarkable prodigy British Chess has seen and is confident she will become a grandmaster. The current record holder, Abhimanyu Mishra, achieved this at 12, but Bodhana aims to break that record at 10.

Interest in chess among young people has surged post-lockdown, partly due to the Netflix show "The Queen’s Gambit." Bodhana's father, Siva, an engineering graduate, admits he is not good at chess, nor is her mother.

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