St. Lambert girl, 15, now youngest Canadian chess champ ever

Maili-Jade Ouellet of St. Lambert rang in the new year by becoming Canada's youngest female chess champion in history — at the tender age of 15.

The Canadian Women's Chess Championship was held in Montreal during the holidays last week. 

Ouellet is now the third Quebecer to win this championship since 1975.

According to Richard Bérubé, the general director of the Quebec Chess Federation, Ouellet has been playing chess since she was 5 years old while taking part in chess programs at her school.

"She's played in many tournaments and is really passionate about the game," he said.

Now, Ouellet dedicates 6-7 hours a week to practicing with the help of her coach and by attending chess clubs.

"A game could last on average 3-4 hours, and so you have to be very patient, very well organized, prepared for the game, prepared for your opponent — it's kind of like a school exam," Bérubé said.

Ouellet has represented Canada in tournaments across the globe, including Europe and Africa.

-Miriam Mokrusa (CJAD 800)