Checkmate! A fearless fifth-grader at McCarthy Middle School is taking the chess world by storm. After learning chess at the age of six, now 9-year-old Carissa Yip can already look down at 93 percent of the more than 51,000 players registered with the U.S. Chess Federation, CBS reported.
“She has risen so far up the rankings that she has reached the expert level at a younger age than anyone since the chess federation began electronic record-keeping in 1991, a new level she reached in recent weeks.”
The prodigy was taught by her father, Percy, who said she could reach master level in as soon as a year. “Some never reach master level,” he said. “From expert to master, it’s a huge jump.” Modest Carissa is hesitant when asked about her accomplishments, saying she “doesn’t spend much time thinking about them.” Though she’s humble, she does know that she wants to one day become the first female to win the overall championship, and not just in the female category, her father said.
“In my more than 50 years with the club, I had never witnessed such an exuberant outburst from club members. They are really proud of Carissa and what she has accomplished.” ~ George Mirijanian, program director for the Wachusett Chess Club
She’s the top-ranked player Wachusett Chess Club, at the latter of which she’s the top-ranked player. Last fall, she competed in an international competition in Slovenia, and in December, she’ll play the World Youth Championships in the United Arab Emirates. Her U.S. Chess Federation ranking places her in the top 7 percent of all players registered with the group and the top 2 percent of female players.
In case you’re still not impressed, Carissa can demonstrate her uncanny skill by playing with her back to the board, reading her moves to her father, and keeping track of the whole board in her head.
George Mirijanian, program director for the Wachusett club and past president of the Massachusetts Chess Association, said Carissa and Percy Yip, both Wachusett members, recieved an impressive standing ovation when they arrived at the club last week after Carissa reached expert level. “In my more than 50 years with the club, I had never witnessed such an exuberant outburst from club members,” Mirijanian said. “They are really proud of Carissa and what she has accomplished.” — Casandra Armour