Julia Sevilla, 11th grader at Granada Hills Charter, is representing the United States in the World Youth Chess Championship held in Montevideo, Uruguay. The tournament began on September 16 and features 11 timed rounds. Winners of the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals and the players who place fourth through 10th will be announced by October 1st.
To prepare for a tournament, Julia spends up to 16 hours per week playing practice games online, analyzing tactics, and studying masters like Magnus Carlson, the current World Chess Champion, on www.chessgames.com. Despite such an intensive regime, Julia maintains a 4.0 GPA at Granada Hills Charter High School even with rigorous classes including AP Computer Science, AP Calculus and AP Physics.
“I like concentrating,” Julia explains. “In chess, I get to think a lot. The best part of the game is the end when there are only a few pieces. You win by coming up with new ideas.”
The 16-year-old picked up her first chess piece 10 years ago and entered her first tournament at age 10. After placing second in a recent tournament, Julia won a $48,000 scholarship to Webster University in Missouri. When asked what she wants to study in college, her answer isn’t surprising. “Anything with math,” she says. “Maybe architecture or engineering because they use a lot of math.”
*Junior Ranking: 500 out of 48,808 on September 27, 2017 by the U.S. Chess Federation on www.uschess.org.