Chess whiz , 7, checkmating her way to the top

Mia Lakshmi Ramsurup

Mia Lakshmi Ramsurup

Published May 3, 2024


Mia Lakshmi Ramsurup recently won the title South African Junior Champ under-8 at the South African Chess Close Championships in Benoni. She will now officially represent the country in her age category.

The grade 3 pupil at Gordon Road Girls' School said she began playing chess when a teacher introduced it to her.

“I like chess because it is two of my favourite things - educational and fun,” said Mia.

Her mum, Sunisha Naidoo, said she was proud of her daughter.

“I get emotional thinking about watching her grow and do better. She never ceases to amaze me because she always loves the challenge. I actually learn a lot from her,” said Naidoo.

She said her daughter started playing chess and joined scouts as a way to make friends.

“Mia always does well on her own. I don’t push her to do anything but she always performs well. She was placed somewhere in so many competitions that she participated in. Now she will represent the country in the South African Youth Championship, World Cadets Championships, and the Commonwealth Chess Championships.”

She added: “Mia is a playful child, who enjoys playing ball with her younger brother and cousins but she is also very focused and has quiet confidence. She is always thinking.”

Naidoo said her daughter was not only good at chess but also in her academics.

“She really enjoys maths and is on the Kumon maths honours roll. She is two levels above in her maths. Mia is also in her school's accelerated programme and took part in an elocution contest and was placed second. She also loves robotics and coding."

Her granny, Vanitha Moodley, also played an instrumental role in her chess career by finding her coach - Lethukuthula Xulu.

She also takes care of the house when her daughter and granddaughter are at tournaments

“I am Mia’s biggest fan,” said her grandmother.

In June, Mia will participate in the international chess federation chess world cup in Georgia.

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