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11-year-old Dobbs Ferry Chess Phenom Plays In Online Tournament

Dobbs Ferry's Nicolas de T. “Nico” Checa playing earlier this year in the Connecticut Chess Open.
Dobbs Ferry's Nicolas de T. “Nico” Checa playing earlier this year in the Connecticut Chess Open. Photo Credit: Nicolas Checa

DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. - Dobbs Ferry 11-year-old Nicolas de T. Checa is set to test his chess skills again when he competes in the 2nd Annual Online National Chess Championship June 14-17.

Checa, a fifth-grader at the Springhurst School, will compete in the Under 12 Division. He qualified for the tournament on the strength of his ranking on the United States Chess Federation Top Rated Players list, which is updated every two months and sorted by age.

Amanda Mateer, the co-scholastic coordinator for said the nation's best scholastic chess players will come together online in each respective age group to battle over the web for a national title.

Nicolas Checa said his son "Nico" has been playing chess since he was four-years-old and did not play in competitive adult level tournaments until about three years ago. Nico is a member of the New York Knights in the so-called professional chess league (USCL). He played for the Knights on line last year and will play for them again this year.

"Although the U12 Invitational is played online, the games are rated by the U.S. Chess Federation," Nico's father said. "So, this tournament is a serious event and very competitive, since only the top players in the country are invited to participate. He plays regularly online, but mainly blitz, not classical chess."

Nico has experience in similar competitions including the U.S. Team World Youth 2011 in Brazil, U.S. Team World Youth 2012 in Slovenia, the New York State Scholastic Championships  earlier this year, and New York State Championship last year.

In late July Checo will be the official representative of New York State at the Barber State Champions National Tournament, when he will compete with fellow K-8 champions from all the other states. He will also play in the U21 section of the U.S. Junior Open to take place in Tarrytown in May

Young Nico recently obtained the title of National Master, awarded by the U.S. Chess Federation and is a member of the 2013 All-American Team.

All games will be broadcast live at on the ChessKid web page.  

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