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9-Year-Old Chess Expert Makes Us All Feel Unaccomplished


Chess is a game that takes years of planning, hard work, and skill to master. It is notoriously the pursuit of the brainy and usually is thought of as a nerdy boys’ club. That, however, is not the case for this incredible player.

Nine-year-old Carissa Yip (of Massachusetts) is a chess expert, but not only that: She reached the level of expert “at a younger age than anyone since the chess federation began electronic record-keeping in 1991.”

Impressed? Hit the jump for more amazing facts about this tiny chess champion.

Yip was originally taught the rules of chess by her father, Percy—that is, until she began schooling him in less than a year. Now she can play entire games without looking at the board: She reads off lists of moves and keeps track of the position of the pieces entirely in her head. This fifth-grader knows her stuff.

From the Washington Post article:

…she also set a goal for herself this year to reach [a rating of] 2,100; an expert is anyone over 2,000. Anyone at 2,200 is a master. She also wants to one day become the first female to win the overall championship — not just in the female category, her father said.

“Not just in the female category” sounds like a good (and reachable) goal for her– she is already in the top 2% of women in the chess world and the top 7% of players worldwide. She also has another three years to go to beat the record for youngest chess master, which was set by 12-year-old women’s world champion Irina Krush.

Luckily, Carissa isn’t haughty about her success: “It’s not like the rating matters,” she says.

Yep, this girl is going to go far.

(via the Washington Post; picture by the Sun of Lowell, Julia Malakie/Associated Press)

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