Canadian chess master Ross Siemms pleased with new interest in the game – Toronto Sun

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His son, financial consultant Craig Siemms, sees it a little differently:

If my fathers achievements had been in the game of hockey instead of the game of chess, every Canadian would know his name.

Ross Siemms was just seven years old when his father had a heart attack and needed bed rest. Friends dropped in for games of chess and Siemms watched the adults play; before too long, he was moving the chess pieces for his father.

Between the ages of seven and eight, I started to play chess with him. I started to beat him regularly, too, he said, laughing.

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He was introduced to a chess club where he grew up, in Torontos Junction area the family house on Pacific Ave., where he was born, is still standing.

Often, as in The Queens Gambit, I played people senior to me by the time I was nine or 10. And I would beat them.

Was he a prodigy?

I did get that term. People said I had a certain talent for the game. Im not sure why.I played road hockey and baseball, but I was never that great at athletics. So I guess chess is what caught my fancy.

Siemms was introduced to the Chess Federation of Canada, and played in the U.S. Junior Championships in 1947. At the age of 11, he travelled to Cleveland with his parents, recalling that he was still young enough to play with a toy firetruck between chess moves.

It was at that tournament that I got my first real trophy. I think I finished 11th out of 45 players, and they gave me an award for Best Under 15 in the U.S.

That was quite a thrill for me. I came back and went into Grade 7.

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Canadian chess master Ross Siemms pleased with new interest in the game - Toronto Sun

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