Romanian-born young woman Alexandra Botez now living in the U.S. is an awarded chess player and influencer who gained recognition mostly on the Internet. She gained hundreds of thousands of followers during the COVID-19 pandemic amid growing interest for chess, particularly due to the success of the Netflix movie “Queen’s Gambit”, New York Post reports.
Born in Dallas, Texas, Alexandra, now aged 25, is the daughter of Romanian immigrants who fled away communist Romania and who sought political asylum abroad. Her family initially moved to Vancouver, Canada, but later on relocated to Texas.
When she was just 6 years old, her father, an engineer by professions, started teaching her chess, following….a bet.
“My mom only plays a little. So he made a bet that he could teach me to play and that, in only two weeks, I would be able to beat her,” Botez told NYP.
She did, and her dad realized he had a special talent on his hands. Two years later he began taking her to local parks to face elderly playing chess.
After the family moved to Texas, Alexandra won the US Girls National championship at age 15. At Stanford, where she studied international relations with a focus on China, Botez was the first female president of the university’s chess club.
She also co-founded CrowdAmp, a former social-media company that used artificial intelligence for more customized communication.
Few years ago, the Romanian-born started streaming chess matches on Twitch and in 2019, when her startup folded, she decided to make the game her main gig. It was last year that Alexandra moved to the East Village in September 2019 and devoted herself to streaming and producing content for chess.com.