Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Manitoba Chess Femme Getting Noticed

Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Chess player making all the Knight moves
Ranked provincially and nationally by Canadian chess organization
By: Rob Brown

Posted: 20/10/2010 2:51 AM

Dariya-Mariya Petryshyn doesn’t look very imposing, but she can send shivers down the spine of even the most seasoned chess player.

Petryshyn, 12, is ranked among the Top 10 players in the country in a handful of categories rated by Chess n’ Math, a national scholastic chess organization that pro­motes the game among Canadian youth.

The Fort Richmond product solidified her reputation as a phenom last month by finishing first overall in her category at a competitive tournament hosted at the University of Winnipeg that was open to all school aged children. She is currently ranked second among Manitoba Grade 8 students and second in the province for girls of all ages. She is currently ranked eighth among Grade 8 girls across Canada.

Petryshyn, a Grade 8 student at Stanley Knowles School, says what she likes most about the game is that it demands logic and making the right decisions.

"I like the strategy involved in the game," she says.

Petryshyn has come a long way since taking up the game just two years ago. Her mother, Orysya, says she didn’t starting taking it seriously until she was urged to by a couple of her teachers.

"Soon however, teachers wanted her to keep at it," her mother recalls.

Cecil Rosner, a leading Winnipeg authority on the game and a member of the Manitoba Chess Association’s board of directors, says the game is catching on with youngsters across the country.

"There is a bit of a trend going on with kids right now, the national organization Chess n’ Math has been really active in setting up and getting kids to play," Rosner says.

Rosner says while it is not uncommon for youth to learn how to play chess, kids like Petryshyn who take it seriously enough to become ranked are few and far between. He said the competitive chess community in Manitoba currently numbers about 150 members.

"There are few adults and fewer youth applying themselves this way, taking it seriously," he says.

Despite her passion for chess, Petryshyn still manages to find time for other pursuits. She plays a handful of musical instruments including flute, saxophone and violin and enjoys science and math at school.

She also recently helped organized a Haiti relief effort at school and is in the midst of organizing a chess club at Stanley Knowles.

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