June 7, 2023


News and Information


Chess Wunderkind Nika Nicolas breaks stereotype

CHESS WUNDERKIND. Nika Juris Nicolas broke the stereotype as she topped the Boys/Open U-11 Division of the National Youth and Schools Chess Championships Elimination last April 16. The 10-year-old Nicolas claimed her Woman National Master title after winning the said tournament. (Contributed Photo)


By Marlon Bernardino




MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine chess community is in frenzy to watch green horn who blossomed into a master in just one year.


Ten-year-old-Nika Juris Nicolas has aligned herself as a true phenomenon of the game when turned from being a novice in 2022 to a full Woman National Master when she topped not the 11-years category of the National Youth and Schools Chess Championships Eliminations last April 16, 2023, not the Girls, but the Boys/Open Category, a historic moment in Philippine chess.


From being a novice Nicolas flourished into a National Champion, Asian Youth medallist, Eastern Asia Silver Medallist, Woman Candidate FIDE Master and Batang Pinoy Champion, all in a span of a year playing chess.


Her latest achievement broke the stereotype that boys are more adept in chess than the girls. Nicolas proved otherwise.


But while there is no conclusive basis for this stereotype, the World Chess Federation (FIDE) provides for separate titles for Boys/Open (Grandmaster, International Master, FIDE Master, and Candidate Master), involving a higher FIDE rating requirement than those titles exclusively for Girls (Woman Grandmaster, Woman International Master, Woman FIDE Master, and Woman Candidate FIDE Master). For example, a FIDE rating of 2500 is required to achieve a Grandmaster title. On the other hand, a FIDE rating of 2300 is required to achieve a Woman Grandmaster title.

SEALED with the win. Nika Juris Nicolas displays the cerficate that recognzed her as a full-pledged Woman National Master as well as the trophy that proves her victory in the Boys/Open Category of the 2023 National Youth and School Chess Championship elimination round. (Contributed Photo)



Thus, Nika came out as chess wunderkind, as her victory was truly remarkable, especially in this male-dominated sport. Her victory, hopefully, could encourage more girls to play chess and pursue their dreams to become great at this game.


“Continue to break glass ceilings for girls’ chess players.” said her proud mother, Atty. Nikki de Vega.


“Thank you, Coach Lourecel Hernandez, nEcot, Raul Miguel Damuy, Philippine Academy for Chess Excellence headed by GM Jayson Gonzales and WGM Janelle Mae Frayna, Pasig City with Mayor Vico at the helm together with Franco Camillo”, she added. – Marlon Bernardino