South West Wales

Swansea's Nick Evans, 13, qualifies as a chess referee

Nick Evans
Image caption Nick Evans is also the under-14 Welsh chess champion

A 13-year-old boy from Swansea has passed a qualification to become a chess referee.

Nick Evans who is also the under-14 Welsh chess champion, has already controlled events alongside experienced referees, known as arbiters.

With his title he is now qualified to referee alone at both junior and senior levels.

He started playing chess when he was seven years old and was taught the basics of the game by his grandfather.

Describing the role of an arbiter, Nick said: "He has to make sure people follow the rules properly. A bit like a referee in football or a referee in any other sport.

"I decided I'd like to be an arbiter in January and arbited some tournaments for training, junior and adult tournaments across south Wales. I sat the exam just before I went to school at the start of September."

Kevin Staveley, Welsh Chess Union director of Home Chess, said of Nick: "He's a brilliant player.

"As an arbiter he's got all the attributes you need. He's good at dealing with the public. He's going to be a real asset to the Welsh Chess Union in years to come."

Mr Staveley said it was unusual for someone so young to want to become a chess referee, especially as Nick was such a good player.

He added that chess at junior level was becoming much popular after going through the doldrums about a decade ago.

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