12-year-old Mountain View chess champion to compete in nation's top junior chess tournament

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (KGO) -- Twelve-year-old Rui Yang Yan of Mountain View, Calif. will soon represent the Bay Area in the 2019 U.S. Girls' Junior Chess Championship with a grand prize of $10,300.

The tournament is the country's most elite, invitation-only junior chess competition and is being held in the U.S. Chess Capital of St. Louis July 10-20.

Yan just earned her National Master certificate and is the number one ranked 12-year-old girl in the country.

RELATED: Bay Area football coach with no arms or legs, Rob Mendez, inspires world with his story of courage

Now she's focused on her next big challenge.

"I think it will be nice to play against all the other higher-rated girls in the U.S.," Yan said. "Chess requires a lot of calculation. The really good players calculate definitely more than you do and it's kind of hard."

Yan will face off against nine girls from Massachusetts, Ohio, Texas, Missouri, New York and California.

She is one of the younger competitors in the junior field.

But she says she plans to stay focus and win as much as she can.

She is quietly confident, partially because she has been playing this game for almost her entire life.

"When I was little, my parents bought me a chess board," Yan said. "I started playing and that's when I began to like it."

"She played chess when she was 4-years-old," Rui Yang's father, Shuguang Yan, said. "She played chess everyday and I thought, 'she's really good at chess'. I'm really excited for her."

Most recently, Yan won the girls 10-13 division of the ChessKid Online National Invitational Championship.

She didn't lose a single game.

Like any great competitor, her favorite part of the game is the victory.

"I like beating people and watching their faces when they realized that they lost," Yan said.

This is the biggest tournament Rui Yang Yan has competed in.

We all wish her luck!

For more information on the tournament, visit the US Chess Champs website.
Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.