By sportswriter Yao Youming
XI'AN, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Chinese chess champion Zhu Xia hopes to teach whoever shows interest in this sport and she decides to start with primary schools and kindergartens kids.
"I'm not teaching for money. I want to make my students braver and smarter when they are met with various adversities in their lives," said the 36-year-old, who is dubbed "queen of chess in north China" in 2015.
Zhu fell in love with the sport when she took a chess class in primary school in 1991. Then she entered the national junior team the next year. She played for the national team from 2001 to 2003, and retired in 2004.
When she studied in Tianjin Foreign Studies University, she began to realize the importance of sportsmanship in her study, and her life.
"Grit and a fighting spirit are characteristics most athletes have, which push us through hard times in study and our lives," she said.
To promote chess, Zhu decided to go back to her hometown, Xi'an City, upon graduation. To start with, Zhu spent great efforts explaining the differences between chess and Chinese chess to local students' parents.
Zhu thinks playing chess can improve children's logical thinking, a conclusion drawn from her comparison experiments on her students.
In the same grade of the same primary school, two classes took Zhu's chess lesson every week, while the other two didn't.
"Compared with other students, my chess students got five more points in average in maths and English exams," Zhu said.
After the experiment, more and more parents realized the magic of the sport and sent their children to Zhu.
One of Zhu's students, Wang Ziyu, was once easily frustrated and cried every time his piece was taken. But seven years of chess training has made him a strong-minded boy.
"The event makes him better, just like what it does for others," Zhu said.
In 2017, Zhu became a chess tutor in a community for free. She runs a chess association in the community to better communicate with chess enthusiasts there. These public services have made the chess star lose money, but she was happy with it.
"When playing chess, I am not bothered by the temporary loss. It applies to my life, too", she said, "We must see the bigger picture to live a better life."