AN 11-year-old chess prodigy has taken his first step towards becoming a grandmaster after being selected for England.

Hamilton Academy pupil Yaqub Saeed has been called up to the England Under 11s following a two day trial in Liverpool last week.

The High Wycombe youngster, who has played at county level since he was nine, will fly to Belgium in September for his first international fixture.

Dad Khalid said: “We are very proud of him as he has worked so hard.

“It snowed really badly one year and we were stuck inside so, while I’m no expert, I showed him how to play and he has continued ever since.

“I’m pretty bad but I have not been able to beat him since he was eight!”

Yaqub’s father is not the only grown up to fall short against the talented sportsman – who also plays for High Wycombe Cricket and Widmer End Football clubs – as many of his more senior opponents will testify.

He defeated all before him during his time representing Wycombe and Hazlemere Chess Club’s adult third team, which resulted in him being promoted to the second string by club officials.

Mr Saeed added: “He’s had a long torturous path to qualify for the England trial and he could go a long way in chess – but he does have a lot of other interests so we will have to see what he wants to do.”