Sophie Seeber is a 17 year old schoolgirl from Ponteland High (near Newcastle) who has just 'bagged' the opportunity of a lifetime, she's been selected to represent England in the European Chess Championships in Dresden next month.
Sophie will be accompanied at the tournament by her dad, Martin, and I've persuaded them both to blog their adventures here on ChessTales. Martin's famous for his boundless enthusiasm and once checkmated me with Black in 16 moves: something for which I've forgiven him (almost!).
The tournament is great news for the North East as well as Sophie; it's the first time the region has had a representative at such a prestigious event. In the women's section, Sophie will be competing against 9 of the top 20 ranked players in the world, including Antoaneta Stefanova, the 2004 World Champion from Bulguria, and top seed Nadezhda Kosintseva from Russia.
It's an expensive affair and any local business interested in sponsoring Sophie would be most welcome. Please contact me and I'll put you in touch.
Watch out for Sophie and Martin's posts over the coming weeks.