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Norway's new six-year-old chess prodigy

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Norway's new six-year-old chess prodigy
Lykke-Merlot Helliesen celebrating her victory after the game. Photo: Screen grab from YouTube
21:46 CEST+02:00
A six-year-old Norwegian girl has defeated a chess grandmaster, who claims she is better than top ranked Magnus Carlsen was at her age.
Lykke-Merlot Helliesen, named after the grape by her wine-loving father, won a simultaneous exhibition match against Simen Agdestein in which he played nine girls.
 
“She played splendidly! She is much better than that Carlsen was when he was six years old,” Agdestein said after the game, according to the chess website sjakkbloggen.no.
 
Agdestein was Norwegian chess champion seven times and is Magnus Carlsen's former coach. His brother, Espen Agdestein, is Carlsen's manager.
 
Lykke-Merlot has been playing chess for six months at a local chess club in her home town of Sandefjord. During that time, she has made remarkable progress, beating many of the best 12-13 year-olds.
 
According to her mother, May-Brit Park Helliesen, Lykke-Merlot showed signs of intelligence very early in life, tying her father's ties when she was just three years old. 
 
”She could tie five different tie knots when she was three or four years old. Including a double-double windsor,” Helliesen told Aftenposten.
 
It was Lykke-Merlots own choice to play chess.
 
”She is fascinated by the game. She is fond of playing chess, and has never been pressured,” he mother said. 
 
 
 

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