Chess player, 9, set to become the youngest ever person to represent England in any international sport

A nine-year-old chess prodigy is set to make history as the youngest person ever to represent England internationally in any sport.

Bodhana Sivanandan, from Harrow, northwest London, has been selected for the team which will represent England at the Chess Olympiad in Budapest in September.

Bodhana is almost 15 years younger than the next-youngest teammate Lan Yao. The three other members of the team are in their 30s and 40s.

The schoolgirl, who was born in 2015, picked up the game during COVID lockdowns.

In December, the then eight-year-old was named the best female player at a European championship after a stunning performance that saw her outrank several grandmasters.

Bodhana also became England's first world youth champion in 25 years in 2022 after winning in classical, rapid and blitz competitions.

She is among the best in the world for her age group and is considered a future star of the chess world, with professional player Irina Bulmaga heralding her as a "phenomenon" after her European Blitz Chess Championship win.

Meanwhile, English international master Lawrence Trent, called Bodhana "one of the greatest talents I've witnessed in recent memory" in a post on X last year.

"The maturity of her play, her sublime touch, it's truly breathtaking.

"I have no doubt she will be England's greatest player and most likely one of the greatest the game has ever seen," he said.

Read more on Sky News:
Chess champion plays for marathon six hours to break record
How players helped whisk Ukrainian woman to safety
Chess prodigy's lawsuit over cheating claims dismissed

The Netflix show The Queen's Gambit has been credited with inspiring millions of new chess players to take up the game - creating a generation of emerging British talent.

These include 15-year-old Shreyas Royal, who is close to breaking the record to become England's youngest ever grandmaster, Ethan Pang, the world's top under-nine player, and 10-year-old Supratit Banerjee, the world number two in his age group.