Sibling Chess Buds: their styles of play reflect their personalities

Sibling Chess Buds: their styles of play reflect their personalities

Nikita is a junior at St. Mary’s Academy in Portland and Rohan is a freshman at Jesuit High School in Beaverton. The siblings have both loved playing chess since their elementary school years. With Larry as their coach, they have really enjoyed learning and playing in various tournaments all over Oregon.

Rohan plays an attacking style of game, a trait that he exhibits on the soccer field too. He is always looking to take away the opponent’s pieces at the risk of losing his own, as long as he has a winning board in the end. Nikita’s style of game is more deliberate, and she builds her plays with skill and reasoning to ultimately go for the kill.

Their styles of play reflect their personalities in real life. Both brother and sister are very competitive and play against each other for fun and to improve their skills. They also enjoy blitzing against each other. Each enjoys winning against the other to affirm their superiority.

Chess has helped Nikita learn about strategizing and being careful, which she hopes are life skills that will help her in the future. Rohan has been an Oregon State All-Star for the last 10 years. If anything, chess has taught him that slow and steady can also win the race.

They both look forward to the post-pandemic tournaments and cannot wait to showcase their new skills acquired via online chess lessons with Coach Larry, who not only guides them but also makes it a fun experience.

Game of the month.

  • White: Kai
  • Black: Rohan
  1. e3, Nf6
  2. d4, e6
  3. c4, d5
  4. Nc3, Bd6
  5. Nf3, c6
  6. b3 (Both players are positioning themselves for an attack on the opponent’s king)
    … Nbd7
  7. Bd3, 00
  8. Qc2, Re8
  9. Bb2 (White is lining up his pieces to attack the black king)
  10. … dxc4
  11. bxc4, e5 (Opening attacking lines)
  12. 00, Qe7
  13. Nd2, exd4,
  14. exd4, c5
  15. d5, Ne5 (Moving his pieces to the kingside)
  16. Re1, Qc7
  17. Bf1, Neg4
  18. h3, Bh2+
  19. Kh1, Nf2 (Checkmate!)

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