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Chess player from Prince Albert makes big steps at the Nationals

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Chess player from Prince Albert makes big steps at the Nationals

Eros Villamar is looking forward to his next challenger. (Nigel Maxwell/paNOW Staff)

By Nigel Maxwell

Although he is only 13 years old and has less than five years of experience, Eros Villamar from Prince Albert has already played against – and beaten – some of the best chess players in the country.

Earlier this month, the seventh-grader from Holy Cross School traveled to New Brunswick and competed in the national championships. After the points were tallied, the match between Villamar and the clear favorites from Ontario and Quebec ended in a tie. In a playoff, Villamar finished third.

“I enjoyed every game in the Canadian Chess Challenge, but my favorite was the final game against New Brunswick. I need to win to secure a place on the podium. I was excited, energetic and focused and I beat my opponent effortlessly,” he said.

“I am delighted to bring Prince Albert a trophy.”

Since joining the chess club three years ago, Villamar has participated in more than 30 tournaments and traveled all over the country. At home, he estimates he spends about two hours a day playing his favorite game.

When asked what he enjoys most about chess, Villamar said he enjoys traveling to different places with his family, participating in tournaments, meeting different players, playing with them and making friends.

“My favorite playmate is my grandfather. He is a good player. He is the first person to help me improve my game,” he said.

When asked about his dream match, Villamar replied that his goal was to play against any chess grandmaster at the World Championship.

Villamar's father Julius said he enjoyed watching his son play.

“I am very proud and it is a great feeling to see my children playing at the highest level,” he said.