A pupil from Hurstpierpoint College has been selected to play chess for England putting him in the country’s top 24 players of his age.
It may only be a board game, but Oliver Manchester from Lindfield has made chess his passion and fulfilled his dream of playing for England.
The 11-year-old has succeeded at a tough selection trial at Liverpool College for a place in the England Under 11 National Chess Junior Squad.
Since learning the game at the age of three, Oliver, who lives in Lindfield with his parents, two brothers and sister, has won a number of titles starting with the Sussex U7 Champion at the age of six.
He went onto become the Sussex Megafinal U8 Supremo and Sussex U9 Champion.
Mum Sandra said: “Representing England has been Oliver’s dream from a very early age. It’s all he’s ever wanted to do.”
When Oliver was four, he started training and playing competitively with Sussex Junior Chess, a not-for-profit organisation run by parent volunteers.
In addition, Oliver’s coach David Graham gives him individual training at home.
Sandra added: “We are very grateful to Dave for all his support and encouragement.”
Oliver was also one of the founder members of Burgess Hill Junior Chess, meeting on Monday evenings in the King’s Church, Victoria Road Industrial Estate, Burgess Hill.
As part of the squad he will take on young players from Wales in June and Belgium in September and participate in squad training weekends.