Chess champion and baton bearer all by the age of 13

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A passion for chess and community service has led a local lad to be chosen as one of the Banchory batonbearers for the Queen’s Baton Relay.

Callum Smith, aged 13, will run part of the route with the baton as the relay passes through Banchory in the run up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Inspired by the chess club at Banchory Primary, Callum took up the game just two years ago and has after just one year of playing was selected for the Scottish junior Squad.

Callum’s mother, Alison Smith said: “He was introduced to chess at the primary school chess club. If it wasn’t for that I don’t think he would have got involved in chess.”

Alison put her son forward to be one of the baton bearers.

She said: “I nominated him and then a lot of family and friends nominated him as well so it was just a case of everybody trying to get him to do it.”

Following his leg of the relay, which passes through Deeside on Sunday June 29, Callum will be heading off to Glasgow to take part in the Games himself.

Such is his skill, Callum has been chosen to represent Scotland at chess. The competitions start on Monday June 30, when he will also compete in the Scottish Championship. Callum is also currently sitting in first place in the Chess Scotland Grand Prix in the 12-13 category.

Now a pupil at Banchory Academy, Callum receives online tutoring twice a week to continue developing his skills. He also uses his talent to give something back to the community, making him an excellent candidate to take part in the relay. Callum helps out every Wednesday at his former chess club at Banchory Primary.

His nomination to run with the baton was kept quiet until he was chosen to take part.

Alison said: “I don’t think he realised how important it really was but as it’s getting closer he is getting really excited now.”