And for her next move … San Fernando Valley chess champ hits the world stage
By ANTONIE BOESSENKOOL | Los Angeles Daily News
September 15, 2017 at 7:35 pm
Julia Sevilla started playing chess when she was still little. Her dad, Fernando Sevilla, was an avid chess player growing up in the Philippines, inspired by the famous chess master of the 1970s, Bobby Fischer. After immigrating to the United States, he competed in tournaments and poured over strategy books. Julia was curious, so he taught her the game.
“I was six or seven when my dad taught me the moves,” Julia said at the kitchen table of the family’s Porter Ranch home one recent night. “It was just a cool thing to me. Also, my dad took me to tournaments and they had free pizza,” she added, smiling.
Fernando still plays chess, said his wife, Emma. “But now she surpasses Fernando,” she added, nodding at her daughter.
Julia admits to being a quiet person, and likes both the social interaction of the tournaments and the silent concentration the game requires. She’s an 11-grade student at Granada Hills Charter High School, where she has a 4.0 GPA and takes advanced placement classes. She’s also ranked among the top youth chess players in the United States.
Now, Julia’s trophies cover the top of several bookcases in the house. More trophies crowd a small corner table, and there are even more in Julia’s bedroom. She’s competed in international matches in Russia, the United Arab Emirates and all around the United States. In July at the SPF Girls’ Invitational tournament, named after world chess champ Susan Polgar, Julia won a $12,000 year scholarship, if she wants it, to attend Webster University in St. Louis.
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– GM Susan Polgar