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Bay Area Teen Heading To Nation’s Largest Chess Tournament

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13-year old Ashritha Eswaran of San Jose is heading to the nations's largest chess tournament. (CBS)

13-year old Ashritha Eswaran of San Jose is heading to the nations’s largest chess tournament. (CBS)

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — A Bay Area teenager is on her way to being the youngest competitor in the nation’s largest and most prestigious chess tournament.

13-year old Ashritha Eswaran of San Jose has been playing for six years, and already has become one of the best, winning the national championship for her age bracket for the last two years.

“You need to focus, and you need concentration, and practice,” Ashritha said.

Ashritha’s sister is no slouch either, with two national titles also. But, Ashritha is so good, she’s been invited to compete against the best women players in the country at this week’s National Championships in Saint Louis. Her closest competitor in age will be 22-years old, but her father says the game plays directly to her strengths.

“Definitely her mathematical skills, the way she plans and calculates. And, she’s also fearless. When she plays against higher players, generally she’s fearless,” father Eswaran Ramalingam said.

The tournament is sponsored by the Chess Club of Saint Louis, and lasts two weeks.

Because of her age, Ashritha had to get permission from her school to miss that much time at the end of the year.

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