The popular Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit has created a chess craze across the country.
But New Brunswick has a prodigy of its own, seven-year-old Andreas Doemer who lives in Saint John.
“It a fun brain sport,” said the Grade 2 student.
The young player, whose hands are not much bigger than the pieces, consistently takes the board from adults far beyond his years.
Andreas even recently tied an international master from Jamaica, said his mother Raegan Deomer.
She said her son is obsessed with the game.
“My husband has to put on a stopwatch when goes to bed to read his books … the timer goes off and it is time to stop the chess reading,” she said.
The young lad, who was just four-and-a-half when his father taught him to play, admits the game is his passion. “I play all the time almost every day online I play one or two games at least,” he said.
“I do also want to become a national master and then an international master and then a grandmaster and a grandmaster is the highest you can get,” he said.
Andreas said he has not seen the Netflix series that has sparked more interest in the strategy game.
His mother says is too dark for a seven-year-old, but she says her son can relate to the main character’s obsession with the game and with the thrill of taking on international players.
“I am going to play against Germany with the U.S. team,” he said.
Chess games and books related to the age-old game are flying off the shelves according to local retailers.
Brooklyn Sampson, who works at Mastermind Toys in Moncton, told Global News that it’s not just because of the Christmas season.
“Our chess games themselves have gone up 20 per cent as a company and our books have gone up more than 50 per cent,” she said.
Sampson said new players are being inspired to take up the game of strategy by the protagonist of The Queen’s Gambit — Beth, a child prodigy with a troubled past.
A fun fact about the series that Andreas likes to share with his fellow Canadians is something he learned from his chess coach.
“One of the puzzles in The Queen’s Gambit is from a book by a player in Saint John,” he said.
His advice to adults and kids inspired by the series to take up the game.
“Maybe study tactics from a book do a couple every day,” he said.
Just don’t forget to set that timer at bedtime.
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