From Malay Mail Online
Puteri Rabiatul, 4, youngest to represent Malaysia in chess
Tuesday, November 8th, 2011 11:21:00
While not the usual reaction one expects from a chess player, her sudden loss of composure is not surprising — Puteri Rabiatul Adawiyah Mat Zaki is only four years old.
She is the youngest person to be chosen to represent Malaysia in an international chess competition by the Malaysian Chess Association. If financial assistance is forthcoming, she will compete at the 7th Asian Schools Chess Championship in New Delhi, India, from Dec 16 to 23.
However, her taking part is uncertain as her family is looking for individual or corporate sponsors to raise the RM9,000 she needs since the association is not able to allocate funds.
"Secondary or primary school students as young as eight have been selected before but this is the first time Malaysia is competing in the under-fives,” her mother, Raja Noraizah Raja Mahmood, told The Malay Mail at the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) building here.
Although children usually start playing chess at the age of six or seven, Puteri Rabiatul was sent to the Insofar Chess Academy for training at the age of three. She can beat children aged eight or nine.
Raja Noraizah said Puteri Rabiatul could recognise chess pieces since she was just one.
“I once asked her ‘which one is the knight?’ and she picked up the right piece. She had a pacifier in her mouth at the time," she said.
“We didn’t expect her to be able to play chess at such a young age. She does not merely play the game but strategises, knowing if a piece is safe or if it can be taken."
Puteri Rabiatul usually plays chess with her mother or trains at the Az-Zahrah Multi-Intelligence Academy (AMPAC Centre) in Bandar Baru Bangi or the Haris Bakar Group of Companies at the PKNS building here.
According to her parents, they suspect their child may be a prodigy or even a genius but they do not know for sure.
Even so, they are confident she could one day become an International Grandmaster in chess, if she continues to play regularly.
The family’s short-term goal is that Puteri Rabiatul could become the defending champion for the under-five category next year.
Those interested in sponsoring Puteri Rabiatul may call 012-3415030.