LOGAN – Logan’s nine-year-old national chess champion was added to the 2013 All-America Team. Advait “Adi” Patel received his team jacket and plaque at the 2012 National K-12 Grade Championship held in November at Orlando, Fla.
The All-America Team is made up of the very best players under the age of 18. Being a member of the team is one of the highest national honors attainable by a young chess player. Members are selected on the basis of age, rating, and activities during that year, similar to the selection process of “all conference” sports teams.
Adi Patel, a sixth-grade student at Beth Haven Christian School, says he learned the game from his grandfather two years ago because he was bored with other games.
“Sometimes when nobody was around, he would teach me a little,” said Adi, “And then it just started to become fun.”
According to Adi’s mother, Ruhi Patel, the grandfather who “gave him the chess bug in the first place” is very proud of Adi.
When asked if his grandfather stood a chance of beating him in a game of chess, Adi said,”He did two years ago, not now.”
Rupal Patel, Adi’s father, said, ”I’m not rated, but as a layperson, I’m a pretty good chess player. He brushes me off.”
Currently rated at 1951, Adi says his next goal is to be rated at 2000 by the end of the year. These ratings are not based on age, but on skill and performance. At the 2000 rating, he will be an Expert. According to the United States Chess Federation (USCF), being rated at 2000 will also mean he is in the top five percent of all USCF tournament chess players.
Adi will be able to represent the country in the World Championships once he achieves a rating of 2050.
Adi’s mother says the most recent competition, a National, is students from all over the country who compete at their grade level.
“This one, he played at the sixth grade level. He should have been at the fifth grade level, but he skipped grade four,” says his mother, Ruhi Patel, “He was the youngest player in the whole section. It was a tough one this time.”
Mrs. Patel says she is much more nervous than he is at the matches. Mr. Patel says Adi is always ready to go.
Adi prefers his opponent make the first move, even though the one making the first move is thought to have the advantage. Who moves first is alternated, but when there is a question, usually the lower-rated person moves first.
Adi’s next competition will be the North American Open, which is the biggest tournament in the country. After Christmas, the family will travel to Las Vegas, Nev., Dec. 27,28, 29.
“I don’t need any presents from Santa,” said Adi, when asked about gifts he might like.
Mr. Patel said, “Everything is chess. I’ve asked him if he would like a Playstation or something, he told me he would rather have a chess clock.”
Adi spends about four hours a day on chess on school days and all day any day he doesn’t have school or in the summer. He reads, plays games online and works with his coach, David Saville. He is also a good student in school, loves science and says he wants to be a geologist, a chemist or a paleontologist.
The competitions Adi participates in are expensive according to his parents. There are entry fees and travel expenses associated with each tournament. If you are interested in making a donation to help with expenses, please call Ruhi Patel at 901-652-8713, or stop by the Logan Subway.