12-year-old Roshen finished first place and is now living his dream

12-year-old Roshen finished first place and is now living his dream



At a recent scholastic chess tournament I had a chance to talk with the organizer and Tournament Director 12-year-old Roshen Nair.

Coach Larry: Roshen will you please tell us about yourself?

Roshen Nair: I’m a Sophomore at Jesuit High School and my main passions are chess and math.

CL: How did you start a chess school and start holding chess tournaments?

RN: My parents, Maya and Sanjay, have always been very supportive of everything I have wanted to do. I wanted to play in the 2018 North American Open and we all went. There were 148 other players and I started at position 46. It was a long, hard, tiring 5-day tournament. I finished in 1st place and won $7,000!

CL: That’s a great win for a 12-year-old! What did you do with the money?

RN: At first, I didn’t know what I was going to do with it. After thinking about it for some time, I decided to tell my parents about my crazy idea. I told them that I would like to use some of my tournament winning money to start a chess academy. Starting this chess club would help other kids in my community to experience the same sort of joy I had experienced when I won the North American Open.

CL: That is a big goal. How did you make it happen?

RN: I couldn’t have done it without my parents, who were dedicated to helping me start up my chess club and spent a lot of their free time helping my dream to become reality, and I will always be thankful for that. Chinmaya Mission Portland and HESCA, two non-profit organizations in our community, let us use their facilities for our chess club. The Oregon Scholastic Chess Federation provided us with our first high-quality chess sets. In June 2019, Roshen’s Chess Academy was born.

CL: You have a website, too.

RN: Yes, I knew I would need a website for our chess club. When I created my website I truly understood how important school is since everything I learned from school helped me in creating the website.

CL: You also run chess tournaments for kids.

RN: I had never run a chess tournament before, until a few years ago, so I was initially not sure what to do. My dad helped me. He bought the SwissSys Chess Tournament program and helped me learn to use it. We were able to run tournaments and also have 12 hours of teaching sessions every month. So far, I have conducted over 20 rated chess tournaments.

CL: With all the time you spend on chess do you have time for anything else?

RN: I want to be well rounded and do have other interests. I love learning math and have won math competitions at State and National level. I’m also very active in Boy Scouts and hold the LIFE rank in Troop 208. I also have a black belt in Taekwondo.

CL:Thanks, Roshen. It sounds like you’ve got plenty going on. Keep up the good work!


Here is the $7,000 game at the 28th Annual North American Open.

  • White: Greg K.
  • Black: Roshen Nair

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.d3 b5 6.Bb3 Bc5 7.c3 d6 8.0-0 0-0 9.Nbd2 Be6 10.Bc2 Bb6 11.Re1 Re8 12.Nf1 d5 13.exd5 Nxd5 14.Bg5 f6 15.Bh4 Bf7 16.d4 exd4 17.Rxe8+ Qxe8 18.Nxd4 Nxd4 19.cxd4 Nf4 20.Qg4 g5 21.Ne3 Bxd4 22.Bg3 Bxe3 23.fxe3 Qxe3+ 24.Bf2 Qe6 25.Qf3 Re8 26.Re1 Qxe1+ 27.Bxe1 Rxe1+ 28.Kf2 Re2+ 29.Kf1 Rxc2 30.g3 Bc4+ 31.Ke1 Ng2+ 32.Kd1 Be2+ 33.Qxe2 Rxe2 34.Kxe2 Kf7 35.Kf2 Nh4 36.gxh4 gxh4 37.Kf3 Ke6 38.b4 f5 39.Kf4 Kf6 40.Kf3 Ke5 41.Ke3 f4+ 42.Kf3 Kf5 43.h3 h6 44.a3 c6 45.Kf2 Ke4 46.Ke2 f3+ 47.Kf2 Kf4 White resigns. 0-1


To learn more about Roshen Nair please, check out these websites:

Why learn chess? Simple: It’s a great mental workout that helps children perform well in the classroom. Chess is a logical game where kids have to plan ahead and adjust to new situations. But most of all, it’s fun!

Larry Ball (Coach Larry) teaches students of all ages at the Steinitz Chess Academy in Beaverton. For more information, email Larry at larryball48@yahoo.com.