Checkmate! 9-year-old Fernando makes history in the World School Chess Championship

Queretaro, Mexico.- Ferdinand Cortes is nine years old and just a few days ago he was crowned runner-up in the school world in Chessmaking history for Mexico, because no mexican player of this discipline had achieved such a high title in an international competition.

Born in Queretaroin the center of Mexico, with only three years of experience in this sport, Fernando plays chess skillfully, and he was able to demonstrate it in the World School Chess Championship 2022defeating rivals from different nations, including England, the United States, El Salvador and India.

It was at the age of six when, cleaning at home, Fernando had his first approach to chess when he discovered the pieces of an old game of his father, whom he asked to teach him and, since then, he not only plays it daily If not, it has become their way of life.

chess_boy_queretaro_.jpgPhoto: EFE

“In a drawer, I had a chess set from a long time ago and the pieces caught his attention, so he was asking me what it was, how it was played and he was a little interested in moving the pieces and delving a little deeper into the game” , relates his father, Fernando Cortés Guerrero.

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Barely three months passed after that first meeting with the pieces, when Fernando Jr. was already stepping on his first tournament, in Jalisco, where his family remembers that he did not win a single match, but he showed the skills to become one of the best.

“Fer was only six and a half years old and he played that tournament and he played it quite well. He did not win any games, obviously, because he was very small, but he already had many clues and his mother had the wise decision to enroll him in a chess club and from there he started everything, ”abounds his father.

After this first tournament, the boy showed himself to be competitive, “he always has been,” says his father, because he likes to run, play, “even eat faster”, so his parents decided to enroll him in a class that It will help you improve.

Since then he started with the tournaments, first as a test and later as one of the participants who obtained the first positions.

“In the beginning, I did not measure the capacities that it could have and if we let the children really have that development and we give them their space, they surprise us for the better. It is a generation that has everything to be much better than we were, ”she considers.

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For Fernando, despite his young age, chess is a game that deserves respect and effort, and for this reason he sent a message to all those children who have dreamed big one day.

chess_boy_queretaro_1.jpgPhoto: EFE

“It is very hard, many classes in a row and a lot of effort. I like the attack of chess and also the defenses (…) I went to Panama for the World Cup and it was very hard, all the rivals played very well. I faced England, the United States, Paraguay, Colombia”, he comments.

Fernando paves the way for new generations

Finally, Rafael Álvarez Navarro, president of the Querétaro Chess Association, acknowledged that Fernando has made history for Querétaro, but also for Mexico, and has paved the way for new generations.

“I am very happy and very motivated because I know that he is a boy who has worked hard, who has had a hard time and who sets a great example for us and who tells us that the bar is very high. (…) he It is something impressive, because he is a world runner-up, never in history has he been achieved in Mexico, ”he declared.

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Today Fernando’s triumph -and that of other queretanos who have made their mark in national and international tournaments- is opening the way for new generations.

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