September 12, 2016 –Ranked in the top 0.09 percent of all junior chess players in the United States, Julia Sevilla, Granada Hills Charter Class of 2019, was invited to represent her country in the World Youth Chess Championship held in Khanty-Mansiyisk, Russia. The tournament begins next week and features 11 timed rounds. Winners of the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals and the players who place fourth through 10th will be announced on October 3, 2016.
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 Chemistry and Trigonometry.
“I like concentrating,” Julia explains. “In chess, I get to think a lot. The best part of the game is the end when there is only a few pieces. You win by coming up with new ideas.”
The 15-year-old picked up her first chess piece nine years ago and entered her first tournament at age 10.
With her total tournament prize winnings at approximately $10,000 and still counting, Julia hopes to pay for college with her young career as a chess champion. Her dream schools include California State University Northridge or the University of Southern California. When asked what she wants to study at college, her answer isn’t surprising.
“Anything with math,” she says. “Maybe architecture or engineering because they use a lot of math.”