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Young chess prodigy becomes Norfolk champion

PUBLISHED: 18:00 25 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:59 02 July 2010

Norwich chess champ Gordon Scott

Norwich chess champ Gordon Scott

Matthew Sparkes

A Norwich schoolboy who has played chess for England's junior team since he was 11 has beaten all-comers to become the Norfolk champion.

Gordon Scott, who turned 15 in March, beat junior and adult members alike to take home the silver trophy belonging to the Norfolk and Norwich Chess Club.

A Norwich schoolboy who has played chess for England's junior team since he was 11 has beaten all-comers to become the Norfolk champion.

Gordon Scott, who turned 15 in March, beat junior and adult members alike to take home the silver trophy belonging to the Norfolk and Norwich Chess Club.

He has also travelled to Belgium, Germany, the Czech Republic and Lithuania for tournaments and regularly takes part in UK competitions.

At an event in Southend this year the prodigy, who lives in Upton, even managed to draw with a Grand Master after an epic game that lasted five hours and 50 minutes.

“He played quite quickly and tried to put me under a bit of psychological pressure,” said Gordon. “I out-played him but I wasn't able to finish him off.”

But despite his incredible achievements he remains relaxed about the future and said: “Chess is a young man's game, really.”

He intends to go on and take his A-levels and a degree, but has not yet decided where to go.

When he is not studying or playing chess he enjoys long distance running and is working towards his bronze Duke of Edinburgh award.

Although he looks set to go on to great things, playing is about enjoyment said Gordon and improvement would come naturally as long as he took an interest.

“It's a game that is relatively simple to understand but there's so much to it. It's something you can do all your life and not fully get to the bottom of it,” he said. “It's strategy and trying to outwit someone else.”

His mother, Sarah Scott, said she was proud of his achievements and that he had begun at a young age.

He was only five when he learned to play chess, being taught by his father after taking an interest in the shape of pieces on the board.

“He was quite attracted to the knights because they looked like horses,” she said. “He cut his reading teeth on a children's chess book.”

He later joined Norwich Junior Chess Club where he was given coaching by local teacher Stephen Orton and progressed rapidly.

Chess players are rated using the Elo system, and the average club player is expected to have a score of 1,500.

But Gordon already has an Elo rating of 1,958 at the age of 15 and expects it to rise this summer.

The very best players can be awarded titles by the world chess organization, FIDE.

First players can get to Candidate Master level, which requires a score of at least 2,200.

Next is FIDE Master, which is only reached once a player gets to 2,300.

International Master requires a minimum rating of 2,400 and the famous Grand Master title is awarded only to those with a score of at least 2,500.

The highest ever FIDE rating was 2851, which Garry Kasparov held during 1999 and 2000.

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