Tributes paid to young chess star

The family of a young chess player who fell to her death at a hotel in the Czech Republic have paid tribute to her.

The family of 19-year-old Jessie Gilbert described her as "much loved" and an "exceptionally talented chess player".

Miss Gilbert fell from the window of her eight-floor room at the Hotel Labe in Pardubice, 65 miles east of Prague. Her body was discovered on Wednesday morning.

The teenager, from Croydon, Surrey, had been in the Czech Republic to participate in the Czech Open tournament.

Her family said that fellow British players had abandoned matches as a mark of respect for Miss Gilbert.

Miss Gilbert was one of Britain's leading female chess players and was working towards becoming a Woman's International Master. She took up the game at the age of eight and won the Women's Word Amateur Championship at the age of 11.

The teenager, who had a place at Oxford to study medicine, had also become involved with coaching younger players at the Andrew Martin Chess Academy.

John Upham, from the academy, described her as a "bright spark" in English chess and a "very promising player".

Police are continuing to investigate the teenager's death. Newspaper reports have speculated that Miss Gilbert may have committed suicide, although there have also been suggestions that she may have been sleepwalking.


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

20 April 2007
Suspended sentences for toddler fight women
Four women who goaded two toddlers to fight each other and filmed it have been given suspended sentences of 12 months each.
24 March 2005
Fischer flies to Iceland as national
Former world chess legend Bobby Fischer has walked free from a Japanese detention centre and is set to fly to Iceland today. Mr Fischer spent eight months behind bars and is wanted in the US for violating sanctions against his playing in Yugoslavia in 1992.
05 March 2008
Man Found Guilty Of 'First Date' Murder
A man has been found guilty of murdering a woman on his first date with her. Fitness instructor Karl Taylor, 27, of Covent Garden, central London had denied murdering Kate Beagley in May last year. The 32-year-old Centrica manager from Walton-on-Thames in Surrey was not seen again after meeting Taylor for a drink.
08 February 2008
Wright 'Singularly Unfortunate' In Picking Up Prostitutes
The man accused of the murder of five prostitutes in Ipswich has told a court that he could have picked up all of the women on the nights that they disappeared. Steve Wright, 49, told Ipswich Crown Court that he may have had sex with four of the women on the nights that they vanished, but denied having any involvement in their deaths.
30 January 2008
Victim's Evidence Heard At Suffolk Murder Trail
Jurors at the trial of the man accused of killing five women in Ipswich have heard evidence from 'beyond the grave'. A statement was read from one of the alleged victims of the accused, 49-year-old Steve Wright - who denies the murders - yesterday.