Meet 13-year-old Khyati, a chess student that helps others learn: Super kids learning a super game

Meet 13-year-old Khyati, a chess student that helps others learn: Super kids learning a super game

In these dark times there are moments of shining light. Khyati Ruparel, a 13-year-old student at Stoller Middle School, is such a light. Always cheerful, Khyati has many interests including writing fantasy stories and reading, but above all is chess.

She has been playing chess since the age of 5 and taking lessons from Coach Larry for 6 years. The strategy, decision making, tactics and outthinking her opponent are just some of the things Khyati enjoys about chess. Having placed in a number of chess tournaments, Khyati is a seasoned veteran. Right now, she is playing only online, but she looks forward to in-person tournaments soon. She likes beating the boys and meeting with other girls at the tournaments.

Now Khyati is passing on her love of chess to others, teaching a six-year-old and his older brother who has autism. She does Zoom lessons with both. At times it can be hard when she is not there in person. Autism makes it difficult but Khyati is patient and together they move forward. Khyati says she makes whatever visual representations he needs to understand the concepts then repeats things as much as necessary. When she tells Coach Larry this, he laughs and tells her “Yeah, that’s teaching for everyone!”

Coach Larry is glad to have students who are thinking beyond themselves and using their chess knowledge to help others learn. We need more young people like Khyati to be a light out of the darkness.

Game of the month

“Spielmann’s tactical exploitation of a pinned Knight is impressive, but his position play against the opponent’s weakened black squares is even more evidence of his great skill.” —Chernev

  • White: Spielmann
  • Black: Unknown

1.e4, e6

2.d4, d5

French Defense, a popular defense at all playing levels.

3.Nc3, Nf6

4.exd5, exd5

The Exchange variation leading to open play.

5.Bg5, Be7

6.Bd3, Nc6

7.Nge2, Nb4

8.Ng3!, Nxd3+

9.Qxd3, g6

10.0-0, c6

11.Rae1, 0-0

12.Rxe7!!, Qxe7

13.Qf3, Kg7

14.Nce4!, dxe4

15.Nxe4, Qe6

16.Bxf6+, Kg8

17.Qf4, 1-0

Black resigns

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