No more tears for youngest master

23:57, Aug 15 2014
Layla Timergazi
PUZZLED: Layla Timergazi at the Chess Olympiad in Tromso, Norway earlier this week, where the 13-year-old was competing with the New Zealand women’s team.

Wellington chess player Layla Timergazi used to cry when she lost - now she rarely loses at all.

The 13-year-old has just picked up the Women's World Chess Federation master title after winning six and drawing two of her 10 games at one of the world's biggest chess events, the Chess Olympiad.

The Raroa Intermediate pupil was part of a New Zealand women's team competing at the two-week event, in Norway, and as well as being the youngest person to represent the country in chess, is now the youngest female in the country to hold the Master title.

Her dad, Irek Timergazi, started teaching her the game when she was 7 years old.

"She was very dedicated, she was always very upset when she lost. But once a week, on a Friday evening we would play, and she would cry every time after losing. Eventually, she started winning."

Timergazi had been livestreaming his daughter's matches from home, which can run up to 5 five hours long, and said she was likely exhausted and it did not sound as though her success had sunk in when he spoke to her.

Layla, a member of Wellington Chess Club, is travelling back from Norway this weekend.


The Dominion Post