TJ’s Queen and her Gambit

By Sean Nguyen, Sahishnu Hanumansetty, Johanna Lohmus, Ananya Chilakamarri, and Dhruv Kalsi

With a United States Chess Federation (USCF) ranking of 1782, sophomore Mantra Iyer is one of the top chess players at Thomas Jefferson. She began her chess career at the age of nine and has risen to heights not many others can relate to, including placing 3rd in the US National Open. Mantra illustrates the complexity and challenges the classic game of chess has to offer and the difficulties and accomplishments that come along with it. Mantra also explains why she continues to go back to the chessboard, and how the 32 pieces and a 64 square board have transformed her identity.

This story was originally published on tjTODAY on March 25, 2021.