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THE CHRONICLE, Tuesday, May 15 2012 - 13
Chess master at just 17
Chess Master Emma Guo will be going to the Chess Olympiad in
Picture: Elesa Lee
CANBERRA chess prodigy Emma
Guo is off to the Chess Olympiad in
Istanbul, Turkey, for the second time
in her career.
The 17-year-old has achieved the
rank of Women's International Mas-
ter and was selected in the Aust-
ralian team for her first Olympiad in
Russia at just 15.
''I was the youngest last time by
about 10 to 15 years but a new girl
has come on to the team and she is
about a year older,'' Guo said.
''I like the adrenalin rush that I get
when I play. If I'm about to play a
move that I think is going to work or
not going to work I get a bit shaky --
I like that feeling.''
She started playing chess as a six-
year-old and was taught by her older
brother until she began being
mentored by Canberra chess player
''He's brought my standard up to
where it is today,'' Guo said. ''I'm
hoping to improve my rating and
hopefully become a grand master.''
Achieving the rank of grand
master is an ambition of Guo's but
it's not something that she's pre-
pared to pursue at the expense of
other priorities such as school.
However, she does believe chess can
complement her study.
''It helps me take critical thinking
to a whole new level,'' Guo said.
''I helps me concentrate and
during tests I can concentrate for a
period of time without getting di-
That's no surprise given she's
played chess games that have gone
mentally and physically. ''It's pretty
exhausting,'' Guo said. ''I play
soccer and I find it a lot more
exhausting than playing a soccer
game. It's also harder than doing an
Although as a college student her
schoolwork beguiles her time, Guo
continues to travel regularly to play
in major chess tournaments.
''I travel around at least once a
month in Australia to play chess and
I probably travel overseas twice a
year to play chess,'' she said.
The Chess Olympiad is a biennial
chess tournament in which teams
from all over the world compete
against each other. The first Olym-
piad took place in Paris in 1924.
Guo is one of five in the women's
team to represent Australia during
August/September at the Olympiad
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