World’s youngest chess trainer

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Poleon and his sister Bambi are both chess champs.
Poleon and his sister Bambi are both chess champs.

A 9-year-old student has become the world’s youngest licensed chess trainer.

Poleon, who is in Year 5 at Garden International School (GIS), was invited to attend a trainer seminar and examination in Bangkok held by FIDE (the international federation for chess).

The event was run by FIDE’s most senior trainer, secretary of the international trainers’ commission, Grand Master Efstratios Grivas.

Poleon excelled in the seminar and in the examinations. As a result he gained enough points for the level of National Instructor. Poleon is now the youngest-ever National Instructor in the history of FIDE by an amazing four years.

Poleon said, “First the trainer gave us some techniques for training and then he gave us a test. Maybe now I can run a club at school; I’m already training some people.”

Poleon is currently ranked number one in Thailand for his age, despite only starting to play chess two-and-a-half years ago.

Poleon said, “My dad introduced me to chess and at first I just started learning the moves and I was not really into the tournaments. After a while we got a trainer for me and I played my first tournament.”

In his first competition, aged 7, he came 4th. Within a year, Poleon had started to win tournaments. He said that his remarkable success also helps him with his studies at school. He explained, “If you sit at the board for 5 hours I thought you may get super-bored but my coach said you are in the zone so then it does not really feel like time passes. My dad says playing also helps me see different perspectives.”

Poleon is so good that now he usually plays adults to ensure there is enough of a challenge. “I found that I play better against adults because I put more effort in and really want to win. I played a person in Andorra who was the step-father of one of the highest-ranked players in the world. I managed to beat him – I got a bit lucky!”

From left to right: Sahapol Nakvanich, Secretary of the Thailand Chess Association, Former Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong, President of the Thailand Chess Association, Poleon, youngest FIDE certified trainer in the world, and Efstratios Grivas, Secretary of the FIDE trainer commission (also Senior FIDE Trainer, Grand Master, International Arbiter and International Organizer).
From left to right: Sahapol Nakvanich, Secretary of the Thailand Chess Association, Former Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong, President of the Thailand Chess Association, Poleon, youngest FIDE certified trainer in the world, and Efstratios Grivas, Secretary of the FIDE trainer commission (also Senior FIDE Trainer, Grand Master, International Arbiter and International Organizer).

Chess brilliance runs in the family as Poleon’s sister Bambi is also a chess star as she is ranked 3rd in Thailand for her age. After the half term break, Primary will be offering chess as a club and Poleon is hoping to help encourage other students to learn how to play.

GIS is based in Ban Chang near Pattaya. For more visit www.gardenrayong.com.