Limerick Student Diana Mirza Wins World Chess Championships
She has taken gold, silver and bronze at European events, but secondary school student Diana Mirza from Limerick has now won the world chess championships.
Diana Mirza, 16, a transition year student at Colaiste Ciarain in Croom, took home her first gold world medal from the under-17 world championships in the Palace of Culture in Iasi, the largest city in eastern Romania.
“I hadn’t sunk in until they called my name and played the Irish anthem,” she said.
“I couldn’t believe it – especially when I saw the President [Michael D. Higgins] tweeting about it. I thought ‘No way, this is amazing.”
Born in Limerick, Diana’s parents are originally from Romania and moved here in the late 1990s.
Diana Mirza has been playing chess since she was 11 years old, and has now set her sights on the under-18 world individual championships in Uruguay.
However, unfortunately, she said that there is no funding available for her to travel there this coming September as chess is not recognised as a sport in Ireland.
She is currently ranked the second best Irish woman chess player, and also won the under-16 All-Ireland championships last year in both the boys and girls categories.
She also represented her country as part of the women’s Fide Chess Olympiad team in Baku last year.
President Michael D Higgins has led the numerous tributes to Diana Mirza as he took to Twitter to say: “My heartfelt congratulations to Diana Mirza from Limerick on winning the World Schools Chess U17 Girls Championship.”
Her father Gabriel watched on as she played the tense rounds in Romania, offering her a lot of support and encouragement when she feared she had lost the competition, facing stiff competition from a competitor from Azerbaijan.
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