A nine-year-old girl in Massachusetts is way better at chess than you will probably ever be in your entire life. Her name is Carissa Yip, and after only three years of playing chess, she already in the 94th percentile of the 51,000 players registered with the U.S. chess federation. Sure, there might be some crazy-prescient chess android building a small army of rooks in a bunker outside Kalamazoo, but odds are Carissa Yip will one day become one of the very best chess champions in the country.
According to a report in the Lowell Sun, Yip has rocketed to the expert level at a younger age than anyone since the chess federation began keeping electronic records. Since she’s only been playing for three years and just on the cusp of entering fifth grade, chessperts everywhere are gnawing their cuticles in excitement for how good she may one day be. Her achievement is also significant because she plays at the Boylston Chess Club, a place dominated by boys. According to Nathan Smolensky, the president of the Massachusetts Chess Association, most everyone at the club has been impressed by Yip’s play. “Even they say they were nowhere near this strength when they were that young,” Smolensky told the Sun.
As of right now, Yip has three more years to set the record for fastest-ever to reach the level of master, a record currently held by five-time U.S. women’s winner Irina Krush, who became a chess master at age 12.
Image via AP, Ariel Schalit