A YOUNG Malvern chess player who has only just started playing in competitions has already shown star potential.

Kieran Jeffrey, 10, has qualified for the National Junior Chess Championships in Nottingham in April.

After being taught chess by his dad Mark, Kieran joined the new Worcester Junior Chess Academy last September, where his talent was recognised by coach Andrew Moore.

"I think he'll do really well. He'll be in the under-10s section and he could even contend for the title," said Mr Moore, a British Chess Federation accredited coach.

After entering his first tournament in November, Kieran came second.

He was also pitched against an 80-year-old chess player in an adult county match, where it took the older player more than two hours to beat him.

Kieran, a pupil at Northleigh CE Primary School, said he enjoyed chess because every game presented a new challenge.

His mum Dawn said: "He's always been very logical and enjoyed maths and computers."

Kieran practices chess a few times a week with his dad Mark, a Redditch school teacher who runs a chess club for pupils.

"He gets quite competitive when he plays his dad and can occasionally beat him," said Dawn.

"I'm surprised just how quickly he's taken to it."

Kieran plays chess at the Worcester Junior Chess Academy at University College Worcester on Saturday mornings.

The club is keen to recruit more young players and, if its membership drive is successful, Mr Moore would like to form a junior county side and compete regularly. He can be contacted on 07789 904835.