A YOUNG chess champion is set to take part in the semi-finals of a tournament with a £2,000 top prize.

Seven-year old Avi Gogna of The Pastures in Totteridge was recently crowned the under-7s champion in Hertfordshire as part of the annual inter-schools UK Chess Challenge.

Avi won all six matches and will now join around 30 other youngsters from across the southern counties in the semi-finals on July 9 in Reading.

His younger brother, Aman, 6, is also a keen chess player and took part in the same competition.

The youngsters' mother, Neelu Gogna, 41, said: "It was a very proud moment for me and it was very good to see all the hard work had paid off.

"It amazes me to see that kids at this age can be so committed and I know playing chess will develop other skills to both boys."

Avi became keen on chess from the age of five and his father, Dr Raj Gogna, encouraged Avi to play chess from his own love of the game.

Both boys attend Lyonsdown School in New Barnet and take part in chess after school clubs.

Mrs Gogna added: "It is great to see schools in Barnet investing in our children's future and Avi's chess teacher, Angela Eyton, is very committed to helping the children."

Avi is currently preparing for the semi-finals by practicing for six hours a day. If he is successful in July he will go on to the finals in August which could win him the £2,000 top prize.