The spring of Ottawa just came several days ago. It’s time to do more outdoor sports, and Qiyu is engaging with the training of pole vault and triple jump. Pole vault is definitely harder than chess! We’ll know how far she can go after the initial two-month training . In the recent Ottawa track and field finals on May 19, 2015, she won the 2nd place in pole vault. In her school field and track day, she set a new grade 9 school record, 8.95m in triple jump. Compared with professional atheletes, these are nothing. However, the results are quite decent for a full-time IB high school girl and chess player.
One of the ealiest trainings as a fresh starter on April 8, 2015
Qiyu Zhou will play in these two upcoming international opens: Cappelle la Grande and Reykjavik Open 2015. These will be her first international opens.
In Finland, the youth event is much cheaper than in Canada. First, the registration fee is only around 15 euros. Second, the country is small and every playing venue is within driving distance of less than seven hours. The most important part is that you don’t need to pay for hotel expenses. No, we don’t live in a hotel; instead parents and chess players sleep on the floor of the school classrooms where the tournament is held.
The photo below shows the condition of the classroom as it was in the 2009 Finnish School Chess Championships. The school provides you with a mattress, and you bring other necessities for your stay. You take a shower in the bathroom of the school gym. We tried to make the stay more fun and adventurous for Qiyu, so we set up a tent for her in the classroom. She was not helping at all, because she could not put down a book she found in the classroom.
Setting up a tent in the school classroom for the Finnish School Chess Championship, 2009
Please note: this fiction is non-chess related! If you’re not interested in fictions, you can give it up here.
Case of the Wrongful Heir
Written by Qiyu Zhou in Grade 8 in 2013
It was the day of the funeral of Sir Edward McDonald. The sixty-year-old man had died the week before, on a Wednesday. McDonald was being buried the following Friday. He came from a rich family, and owned large enterprises and stocks in several of the leading companies around the world. He was indeed wealthy.
Sir McDonald had a young wife in her thirties named Helen McDonald. They had two sons, the elder one being Simon, and the younger one Benjamin. Simon was fourteen years old, and Benjamin was two years younger. The immediate relatives of the family were McDonald senior’s younger brother Kevin, a rather calculating politician, and his wife, Jane.
From January 2014 to June 2014, I was 4 1/2 years old, played 2 tournaments under 8 years old group in Nice and Hyeres, obtained two 3rd place. My first chess coach was Mr. Gilles beauvisage from Club d’échecs d’Antibes at the city of Antibes, one of the most beautiful town in the world. The afternoon game had always been very hard for me , because I needed to take a 3-4 hour nap in general. I went to the chess club once a week for a round 1 hour in the morning on some Saturdays, then my family and I spent the whole day on the beach. I remembered that My mom didn’t want to wait for me in the club because she preferred to hang around in the town. Each time she dropped me there, then bought me back some nice cookies. Chess was a very easy and fun game for me when I was young.
My first tournaments in Nice, Antibes, France
My earliest girl friends, and they were around 8 years old. We often had a lot of fun together before and after the games. Mainly we drew pictures.
I was awarded my 1st chess medal .
Postmortem: I didn’t know how to record the game at the age of 4, so my French chess friends asked me to recall the game for them. The funny thing is that I all the time separate my life with chess. I played chess in tournaments, but I didn’t want to talk about it and bring it to my daily life anymore. So I can hardly remember any of my games. I will do sth. else after the tournaments.
With my first club coach
My French school teacher collected the newspapers for me and gave them to my mom when she picked me up.
He was our family’s great friend and was forever remembered by the whole family.
Thank you , Mr. Watson, for your recognition. We wish that chess as a noble sport can get some financial support from the government.
I used to live in Antibes, France from the age of 3 to 4. Here is the photo taken on December, 27, 2013 when I was ice-skating with my friends.
at the age of 3, ice-skating in Antibes, France
One of my earliest chess activities, at the age of 4
Antibes, the most beautiful town I lived
A game with my chess friend, Robert, in RA chess club, Ottawa, 2014
Qiyu Zhou at the age of 8, and Yifan Hou at the age of 14 (Qiyu’s current age) in the photo below , Qiyu was very lucky to meet her again and took a photo with her. Qiyu first met Yifan at the age of five when she was playing in U10G, WYCC 2005, Belfort, France. Yifan was around 11 years old, who was playing in U12 open section. Due to the big age difference, they could hardly talk to each other. But they did talk something back to 2005. Yifan is an extremely charming, humble, and talented girl, who has very pleasant personality. Qiyu is bit like her, very gentle , kind and caring in nature. But Yifan is much stronger than Qiyu in chess, and Qiyu can’t match her at this stage. When I first met and talked to Yifan in 2005, I knew that she would be an extraordinary chess player. It’s not a surprise when she became the Women’s World Chess Champion at the age of 18. I know that she is an incredible girl! Yifan enjoyed reading fictions so much, and I remembered that she was reading a novel whenever she got free time in WYCC ,2005. Maybe this is the reason she wore glasses at a young age.
The reporter, Mr. Matthew Little, really impressed me with all his thoughtful and insightful questions that connected chess with life. Because I believe that everything is related in this world. Qiyu’s words were so simple and direct – that winning a world championship has meant accomplishing one of her early childhood dreams, but that this is indeed only a very small step in her life. One of her favorite pictures speaks of her explanation that compared to the ocean, our individual successes are so small and trivial.
Qiyu Zhou on the beach of the Indian Ocean, Durban, South Africa, Sept. 2014