A 14-year-old from the Austin area is competing in the nation's most elite, invitation-only junior chess tournament next month.
Emily Nguyen is a Round Rock teen gifted with many talents, including how to dominate a chess board, learning at just 4 years old.
“My dad and my brother played it and I kind of just watched them,” she said.
Those family game nights transformed into a beloved sport that has taken her all over the world.
“When I was eight, I think I went to Greece, Brazil; when I was nine, Slovenia; when I was 10--oh and Dubai,” Nguyen added.
Not only did she pick up souvenirs along the way, she also gathered the art of disciplining the mind,
and calculating each move no matter how long it takes.
“Maybe four hours? But my longest game was a little over 6 hours,” she said.
This summer, the teen will be returning to the U.S. Junior Championship tournament in St. Louis; it's the same competition she won last year.
"It's better than just being on the phone all day,” Nguyen said. “It really helps you think and strategize.”
She says her focus is to just have fun.
"It's a balance between hard work and not pushing yourself too much,” Nguyen said.
The U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship is from July 8-17.