With a difference of more than two generations, the 8-year-old chess champion tells the 79-year-old player that she has won the game.
Chess, also known as the ‘Royal Game,' has seen some great prodigies who have taken its rules and made moves that are leaving even senior citizen champions aghast. Last month, in a fascinating video by Chess.com on YouTube, an 8-year-old chess prodigy can be seen beating a 79-year-old British chess champion in two games that the duo played against each other. The game between the two players, who are seven decades apart in age, takes place at the prestigious Athenaeum Club in London.
79-year-old Peter Lee won the British chess championship when he was 21 years old and he also played in the England team for ten years. His opponent is an 8-year-old girl, Bodhana Sivanandan, with a rating of around 1800 in chess. She has won the world’s under eight Girl’s Rapid and Blitz championships. The two played three games of chess at the private members’ club that was founded in 1824. Until 20 years ago, there were no women allowed in the club and that made Bodhana’s skilled moves at the club even more historical.
Peter and Bodhana explored the club and its history before sitting down for three games of chess that were so intense that both the players were reddening with each move they made. What was adorable was how both of them seemed to be thoroughly enjoying the game and the cutest moment was in the third match when Bodhana ‘checked’ Peter’s queen but he was entirely oblivious to it.
Bodhana then whispered, “It’s check,” but Peter didn’t hear her. She whispered for a second time, “It’s check,” and this time as well, Peter failed to register her. Bodhana then turned to look around and said a little louder, “Peter?” He looked up at her and then she extended her finger to guide his eyes to the precarious situation on the chess board and said with a smile, “It’s check.” A surprised Peter said, “Oh it’s check? Oh sorry, I didn’t hear you say anything.” Finally, the winner was Bodhana, with two games to her win and one draw between the two players.
The level of play at the top board of the Girls U8 World Championship is amazing. Looks very much like Bodhana Sivanandan could increase the gap to two points with two rounds to go! https://t.co/up6GCqbFo0 pic.twitter.com/q9l98IfGb5— Tarjei J. Svensen (@TarjeiJS) October 24, 2023
Peter praised the young prodigy and said, “I thought Bodhana played extremely well. Very very solidly, didn’t miss, didn’t make mistakes and made good positional moves all the time.” He also shared that the last time he was beaten by a woman was in 1966. According to Chess.com, on October 25th, Bodhana went on to become England's first world youth champion in 25 years and complete a historic triple crown, scoring 10/10 and engraving her name in history. She grabbed the title of the Girls Under 8 category of the World Cadet Championship in Egypt.
Bodhana’s video with the 79-year-old chess maestro went viral and grabbed comments from Reddit viewers who saw the video posted by u/CertainMood4362. u/tarantulator commented, "Yeah, and what I love about this is the way she says 'Peter', you can totally sense the respect lying in there, but not because he's older than her, it's the respect she's according to him as an opponent, someone who she treats as her equal as if the age of the players don't matter here just the knack for the game, and you can see the same thing reciprocated by him.”
u/Signal-Blackberry356 said, “What an adorably humble little genius.” Bodhana’s intelligence and innocence are years ahead of her age and it is evident from the video that she holds integrity higher than competitiveness. Bringing awareness to Peter about his queen being in danger won the internet’s hearts and gave a strong message of ‘compete, but compete with togetherness.’