An Interview: “WIM Qiyu Zhou reached the goal to become a world champion. Now remains one dream: to win the Nobel Prize”


Qiyu Zhou was born 2000, and was a winner already as a 5-year-old girl. She won the Finnish championship in chess for children under 10 years age. She defeated five years older players to take the title. Her biggest success is winning the World Championship for girls under 14 years age. During 2015 she took the title WIM, women’s international master. Her ELO-rating is 2318.

Qiyu Zhou was born in China, moved to France as a very young child and came to Finland as a four year old. She lives in Canada nowadays. So the first question is naturally:

How many languages can you speak?

– I speak 4 languages, English, Mandarin (Chinese) and Finnish fluently. I also somewhat speak French, read and write French as well.. And I have been studying Swedish in school since this September, and being tutored during the weekends.. I will practice my Swedish in the tournament.

How did you get the interest in Sweden?
– When I was in Finland, I had a lot of connections with Swedish people. For example, I had a great friend who is a Swedish pianist. When I was young, our family saw each other very often, and I used to play the piano at his home.  He often gave our family private concerts and sang Swedish songs for us, and I was really moved.

– I wanted to learn Swedish since I was young; however, I left Finland for Canada in Grade 6 so I didn’t get a chance to learn it. Now I want to accomplish my childhood plans one by one. Swedish is my current target. Also I love reading Swedish literature, and I hope to read the original one day.

You have already won a lot of tournaments. Which victory do you rank as number 1. And why??
– I would rank my gold medal in 2014 in the world youth U- 14 years age. Mostly because it had always been my dream to become a world champion.

You have played in Sweden in the past, in Vasteras five years ago. What do you remember from that tournament?
– It must have been the Nordic school Championship for children under 11 years age. I won the tournament. I remember that I was the only girl in the section. The organizer was very nice, and offered us free choices to eat at the restaurants we wanted.

What is your status at present day? Which tournaments have you played lately? ?
– Right now I’m very busy with studies, but I try to make time for chess. I also need to take some different language courses in the evening. I recently played the world youth in Greece. Before that I played some tournaments in Canada during the summer holidays.

How do you feel coming to Sweden and play again?
– Excited. It’s been quite a while since I’ve last set foot in Sweden.

What is your goal in Stockholm Chess Challenge?
– Probably to not come last…

So how was it then with Qiyu’s dream of winning Nobel Prize? Her mother Changrong Yu tells the story:
– She knew Nobel Prize since she was five, and knew it was from Sweden in 2005. She had two dreams since she was five years old: one is to become a world chess champion, and the other is to become a Nobel Prize winner. I clearly remembered that when she visited the town hall of Sweden she told me: “Mom, next time I will be here for the prize!”

Young Qiyu Zhou has already become world champion in chess. The Nobel Prize is her next goal..”

The above interview was given by Mr. Ingemar Falk.


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