Meet Vienna, Isha Nikita, Keya & Khyati of the The Queen’s Gambit Chess Club

Meet Vienna, Isha Nikita, Keya & Khyati of the The Queen’s Gambit Chess Club



Several young girls have banded together to prepare for the coming school year and future chess tournaments. They range in age from 10 to 17 years old. All of them are seasoned chess tournament players, having won a number of trophies.

They have started meeting over the summer to play chess games, exchange ideas and chess strategies. They work on their openings such as: The Colle System, Petroff’s defense and The Queen’s Indian Defense among others. Of course, they all play the Queen’s Gambit opening. They want to be ready for the coming chess season and know that spending time over the summer to improve their chess will help them in the upcoming tournaments. They enjoy the competition and pushing each other to get better and know that nothing will improve their chess game like practice, practice and more practice. But they all find time for other interests too.

  • Vienna Mai, 12, a 7th grader at Holy Trinity has been playing chess for 7 years, enjoys swimming and writing stories.
  • Keya Kothari, 11, a 6th grader at Bethany Elementary has been playing chess for 3 years, enjoys classical Indian dance, piano and art.
  • Isha Marla, 10, in 5th grade at Montessori School of Beaverton has played chess for 4 years, also enjoys classical Indian dance, classical piano and Lego Robotics.
  • Khyati Ruparel, 13, a 7th grader at Stoller Elementary, has played chess for 6 years, and also enjoys writing fantasy stories and reading. She also coaches two younger chess students who are just starting out.
  • Nikita Sastry, 17, a senior at St. Mary’s Academy, has been playing chess for 6 years, She also enjoys playing soccer and playing with her dog. During the summer she will be a volunteer at a summer camp.

The girls are planning on going to the state championship tournament in April at Seaside. All the girls take chess lessons from Coach Larry. If you know a girl who would like to join the Queen’s Gambit Club, please contact Coach Larry.


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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