Charlotte and Cindy Chen may only be 10 years old, but they’re both tipped to one day become chess grand masters.

Key points:

  • The Australian Chess Championships and the junior event will be held in Adelaide
  • Popularity in chess has exploded since the Netflix show The Queen’s Gambit
  • Charlotte and Cindy Chen, who won state titles, will take on each other in the championships

The twins will be front and centre when Adelaide hosts two of Australia’s most prestigious chess tournaments in January, giving locals a rare opportunity to match it with the nation’s best.

The Australian Chess Championships will be held in Adelaide for the first time in 20 years while the Junior Championships will also be running with hundreds of young hopefuls expected to compete.

The Chen sisters are known locally as the queens of chess and the pair will go head-to-head as they both vie for the title in the under-12 event next month.

Cindy is the current national under-10 champion and earlier this year both girls won state titles.

“I love the challenges and I love learning from my mistakes,” Cindy said.

“I love how there are so many possibilities that you can play on the board,” Charlotte said.

Charlotte Chen and her twin sister Cindy have been playing chess for at least three years.(ABC News: Che Chorley)

The twins began playing chess at their school, Linden Park Primary, in year 2.

Now in year 5, they have quickly established themselves as future stars of the game.

But there’s no rivalry between them — yet.

“We’re kind of equal, normally we draw but sometimes there’re a few wins and losses,” Charlotte said.

Adelaide prodigy jumps into top 20

Tarush Jindal is also tipped to go far at the tournament.

The Adelaide prodigy has only just turned 11, but is already South Australia’s current under-15 state champion.

“You need a little bit of creativity and logical play to understand the game,” he said.

“It does take a lot of hard work and a lot of sacrificed time.”

At 11, Tarush Jindal is in Australia’s top 20 for his age group.(Supplied)

Tarush migrated to Australia from India with his family in February this year.

He practices for up to four hours a day and recently jumped into the top 20 in the country for his age group.

“My aims and goals for the championships is to get into the top three and my further goals are to become the under-12 champion,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to becoming a great chess player after 10 years.”

Beginning January 2, the festival comes at a time when the popularity of chess is booming.

Tarush Jindal is South Australia’s current under-15 state champion.(Supplied)

Following the pandemic and the Netflix sensation The Queen’s Gambit, the number of chess enthusiasts has exploded worldwide with interest and engagement at an all-time high.

Organisers have said hundreds are expected to compete from all over the country.

The Chen twins hope the junior event will help grow the chess community.

“A lot of people in the state play and I really hope this chance will allow more people to play more chess,” Cindy said.

Both tournaments will be held at Glenunga International High School with a prize pool of more than $30,000.

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