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Aaron Mendes brought some unique bragging rights when he resumed school this fall in Mississauga – he is the top chess player under the age of 11 in the world.

Born in India, Aaron learned chess at five and began impressing everyone around him. Some of India’s best coaches took him under their wing, and he has steadily improved.

Earlier this year he won the gold medal at the international chess federation’s world school championship in Panama, where 489 players from 37 countries competed. He also tied for the top spot in his rating category at the Canadian Open in Hamilton.

His family moved permanently to Canada last year, and his mother Jennifer says one of the primary reasons was to give him more opportunities to play. He credits his parents for his skills at chess.

“I think it’s because they always motivate me, but they never force me to do anything.”

Aaron, who turned 10 in August, says he studies three hours a day during school days and five hours daily on holidays.

As for his ambitions, he says he has two.

“I want to become a grandmaster, and then I want to become the world champion.”

You read it here first.

Luca Georgescu-Nicolau v. Aaron Mendes, World Youth Online, 2020

Handout

Black to move. How does he win?

Black played 17. … Nxd2 18.Nxd2 Rh1+ 19.Kh1 Qh4+ 20.Kg1 Qh2 mate.