In Canada

Though Qiyu Zhou can only spare maximum one hour per day on chess (She loves academic subjects, free leisure time and some other sports.), she is making some progress though not impressive by actively playing in some of the Ottawa RA weekend chess tournaments and sometimes in Montreal. She considers chess as an enjoyment and something to do in her leisure time, for example, after several hours of academic study, she loves to play some blitz on the internet as a good fresh.

In Canada, she gradually transformed from a casual chess fan to a weekend tournament player. She got her first FIDE rating after moved here from Finland.

Canada has 20 times more chess tournaments than that in Finland. Chess started to become an expensive activity and investment here. The regular chess registration fee is around $60, and the bigger ones cost you around $250. Though Qiyu was already an accomplished young chess player in the world stage before she moved to Canada , it took her some time to get used to the tough competition here. So you can imagine that chess in Finland is truly quite casual. The family got lost in the chess tournaments at the beginning, because Qiyu had never played so many tournaments before she turned 11 years old. Qiyu didn’t play in any FIDE rated tournaments except WYCC (World Youth Chess Championship) before living in Canada. Though she WON 2nd place once in WYCC and several top 10, she didn’t have a FIDE rating. RA chess club in Ottawa is a great one to help juniors reach FIDE rating 2200. It has several very serious but friendly Canadian national master-level players. Before we moved to Ottawa, she played some fun games in Hart house chess club at the University of Toronto, and she truly enjoyed the great time with those friends.

2013 was an extremely sad year for her, and she almost quit chess due to her poor result in WYCC in 2013. She only scored 7 out of 11, even dropped out of the top 10. She was too confident in every game, pushed several draws to losses and refused to accept draws.

2014 was a great year for her in spite of a lot of downs, because she eventually became a world chess champion. Though she didn’t accomplish “You will sweep everyone when you grow up.” told by her first French club coach, she is still very happy because at least she accomplished her childhood dream.

2015 started with a lot of obstacles. Her hunger in chess dropped after her childhood dream was done. She grew very strong interests in pole-vaulting and wanted to achieve high in this sport. She thinks of continuing chess as a hobby after she won the Under 18 girls section in North American Youth Chess Championship and gained her WIM (Women International Master ) title. The funny thing is that a lot of my friends and Qiyu’s friends sent Qiyu congratulations on her WIM after reading the news from her FACEBOOk, then after several days, they secretly wrote to me and asked me “What is a WIM?” So Chess titles are still unknown to most non-chess fans and players .

You can follow her chess tournaments and other sports events from these two FACEBOOKS:

Ottawa youth takes top spot in world chess tournament:

Ottawa girl wins International chess competition:

Ottawa chess master conquers world:

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