Nicka Bio

Now for the bio: It makes sense to begin with my name, Regina-Veronicka (Nicka) Kalaydina. Then, “Nicka has been playing chess for over 10 years; her family taught her how to play when she was five, back when the Kalaydin family was living in Lviv, Ukraine. After immigrating to Canada in 2003, Nicka didn’t start playing competitive chess again until 2005. Her first big tournament was a CYCC in Victoria in 2005, in which she placed fifth in the U10 Girls section. The following year, Nicka won her first CYCC held in Kitchener in 2006 in the U10 girls section—an achievement she would repeat four more times in the Under 12, 14 and 16 Girls Sections. Nicka has also represented Canada at five World Youth Chess Championships in the span of seven years, from 2006 to 2013. Arguably, her biggest achievement was becoming the Canadian Junior Chess Champion in the Girls U20 Section in 2012 in Calgary, after which she represented Canada at the World Junior’s in Athens, Greece, and placed 32nd in a competitive pool of some of the best young female chess players in the world. More recently, Nicka became the Alberta Women’s Chess Champion in Fort McMurray in 2013 and competed at the North American Youth Chess Championship in Tarrytown, New York this June in the Girls U18 Section. As any chess player, Nicka had to juggle school and chess, as well as other commitments. This July, Nicka graduated Western Canada High School with a Bilingual International Baccalaureate Diploma and will be heading to Queen’s University this Fall. She hopes to declare a major in her second year of studies in Neuroscience with a minor in Philosophy. She will share some of of her games from these tournaments and reflect on her experiences with you today.”