Young chess player hopes to attend Quebec Open

Chilcotin chess sensation Kai Richardson will look to make a move up the national rankings this July when he enters the Quebec Open.

Chilcotin chess sensation Kai Richardson will look to make a move up the national rankings this July when he enters the Quebec Open ‘A’ section.

Now merged to be called the Championships of French-speaking Countries, the event takes place July 17-25 in Montreal where Kai — now in the top 10 in the country for under-12 boys — will compete.

“His most recent showing at last week’s Paul Keres Memorial (in Richmond) was a very positive one,” said Kai’s dad, Scott who, along with his mom, Aki, are his biggest supporters.

“His Canadian Chess Federation rating rose 129 points to 1,906.”

Scott said most elite chess players play an average of 100 or more tournament games a year, however, due to living off-the-grid in the Chilcotin, Kai plays an average of 24 tournament games a year with longer periods of study in between.

“This tournament would be an important challenge,” Scott said. “His goal is to surpass a rating of 2,000 and would secure his elite chess-playing status and begin to prepare him for the World Youth Championships in Russia in 2016.”

Last fall Kai, along with Scott and Aki, organized the first annual Lake City Open — the first chess tournament held in the Cariboo region in decades.

“We had a good turnout, with participants ranging in age from 8 to 93, and much enthusiasm,” Scott said. “The membership at the Williams Lake Chess Club enjoyed a healthy boost.”

Kai also gives chess lessons at a local elementary school, with the aim of having an even greater turnout at the tournament this year.

This year, the Richardsons are looking to raise funds to help pay for travel and accommodations in Montreal, and advancing to Russia next year.

Anyone interested in sponsoring Kai on his chess journey can do so by visiting http://kaichess.homestead.com and click on the Paypal donate button.