An International chess Master believes one of her pupils is destined for greatness – and he’s only 8 years old.
Susan Lalic, 46, who became the first British Woman Grandmaster in 1988 has been teaching Ashtead’s child chess prodigy Alex Golding.
The Grandmaster title is the highest accolade available to a Chess player outside being World Champion, so Mrs Lalic knows what it takes to become a champion, and she thinks young Golding has it.
Schoolboy Golding recently defeated youngsters twice his age to claim the £1000 prize at the Delancey UK Schools Chess Challenge.
Mrs Lalic, who also became an Interational Master in 1996, said: “He is very tactically aware. He knows moves you would not expect him to at that age and he has a real eye for it.”
After being approached by parents of the chess wonder-kid, Mrs Lalic agreed to teach him, along with his two brothers, but it was quite clear from the outside there was something special in Alex, according to Mrs Lalic, a five-time British Champion.
“He is the best I have ever seen at his age, I have never seen potential like that, but he must work hard if he wants to fulfil it.”
Mrs Lalic, who peaked at 23 in the world rankings, has also, along with her chess coach Husband Graeme Buckley, passed on their vast knowledge of the game to their three children, Peter, 18, Lucy, 10, and Emma, 10, all of whom play at a competitive level.
Peter Lalic, 18, has just overtaken his Mother in the English Chess Federation rankings, and has been accepted to study French at King’s College, London, but has deferred for a year so he can continue to coach.
He said: “It’s so much fun to teach, and to play chess. I’ve started coaching professionally and I love it so I think I’m going to continue for a while.”
“Alex is very very good. I played in a blitz game recently and I really found it quite difficult.”
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