Montreal teen becomes Quebec’s 1st world junior chess champion

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An 18-year-old from Montreal’s Hochelaga-Maisonneuve neighbourhood was topped this yr’s World Youth Chess Champion — changing into the primary Quebecer and solely the second Canadian to carry the title. 

Shawn Rodrigue-Lemieux took residence the trophy after beating out gamers from 54 nations on the world under-18 chess championships final week in Romania. 

He scored 9 factors out of 11 — seven victories and 4 attracts. Amongst these he beat was Kazybek Nogerbek of Kazakhstan, who completed second within the rankings. He posted a draw towards Marius Fromm of Germany, who completed third.

“It is not likely one thing I anticipated,” stated Rodrigue-Lemieux of his historic win. “The beginning of the event wasn’t so nice however all of the sudden, the wins simply stored coming and on the finish, it was nice.”

Rodrigue-Lemieux is pictured final Friday along with his trophy after beating out gamers from 54 nations on the world under-18 chess championships in Romania. (The Canadian Press)

With this win beneath his belt, the teenager is simply two extra victories away from changing into a grandmaster— the sport’s highest honour.

“He may grow to be the youngest Quebecer in historical past to earn the title of grandmaster,” stated Richard Bérubé, normal supervisor of the Quebec Chess Federation (QCF). 

Some 1,200 gamers are worldwide grandmasters, in accordance with the QCF, together with Quebecers Kevin Spraggett, Pascal Charbonneau and Thomas Roussel-Roozmon, who acquired the title on the age of twenty-two.

WATCH | Shawn Rodrigue-Lemieux reveals CBC reporter a factor or two about chess:

CBC’s Simon Nakonechny takes on chess champion

Shawn Rodrigue-Lemieux, 18, from Montreal was topped this yr’s World Youth Chess Champion — changing into the primary Quebecer and solely the second Canadian to carry the title.

‘I by no means anticipated it could result in this’ says mom

Rodrigue-Lemieux did not develop up in a chess-obsessed family, however began studying on the age of six in an after-school program.

“I simply determined to register to study what chess was and [I’ve] liked it ever since,” he stated.

However Rodrigue-Lemieux’s mom stated this was by no means the intention. Isabelle Rodrigue stated her son was very energetic and he or she’d hoped the sport would merely assist him focus. She did not actually care if he excelled at it or if it turned a ardour of his. 

“These weren’t my expectations,” she stated. “It was actually simply that he’d keep calm and seated and that he’d develop his focus a bit … I by no means anticipated it could result in this.” 

Isabelle Rodrigue says she put her son in an after-school chess program to assist his focus. She by no means anticipated he would find yourself a champion of the sport. (Simon Nakonechny/CBC Information)

These within the native chess scene say they hope Rodrigue-Lemieux’s victory will give the sport a lift.

Larry Bevand of the Chess’n Math Affiliation says they will be in his nook as he tries to rise to the rank of grandmaster.

“Now that Shawn has received the World Championship, we’re already planning to subsidize him for the remainder of the search,” he stated.

As a social research scholar with a specialization in legislation at Collège de Maisonneuve, Rodrigue-Lemieux stated he needs to pursue these research, however is not ruling out a profession in chess. 

“I need to go to school, however chess can be a part of my future,” he stated. 

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