WATCH: This 12-Year-Old Boy Might Be Well On His Way To Becoming Malta's Youngest Chess Champion
At just 12 years old, Jack Mizzi is quickly becoming the one to watch in the local chess scene. He recently placed first in the Malta Chess Championship Preliminaries, defeating 25 other competitors.
The championship is open to competitors of all ages, but let's just say the main demographic at these competitions is men over the age of 40.
Having looked back into records for the past few years, it seems like Jack is the youngest person to have ever won a competition at this level
Having placed in the top eight at the preliminaries, he will move on to the 'candidates round'. In this round the top eight, together with some other more established competitors with an ELO of 1800 or under, will compete for a place in the final.
An 'ELO' is a ranking used in chess to determine a player's "level". Currently, Jack's ELO is 1661, but every time he beats a competitor with a higher ELO, he takes some of their points and Jack's ELO is expected to rise quickly.
Jack started playing chess just over two years ago during breakfast club at school, against his friends
Soon, people noticed he had a lot of potential, especially because we was very good at mathematics. He started training and competing in inter-schools tournaments until moving on to more established competitions.
Jack is an active participant in weekend tournaments, the Harry Camilleri memorial and the Malta Championships (adult and junior) that the Malta Chess Federation organises.
He also represented Malta in the European Youth Chess Championship in Romania (2017) and last summer in Latvia (2018) together with a Maltese contingent of boys and girls.
Good luck for the next round, Jack!