Chess isn’t the average game for a 12-year-old to master, and this 7th grader from Baltimore, Maryland is here to prove that he is far from average.
This week, Cahree Myrick has become Baltimore’s first individual national youth chess champion. The interesting part about this story is, the brilliant adolescent sharpened his chess skills at the local barbershop.
Myrick learned to play with a formal chess league but says the barbershop brings something special to the game for him. Reflection Eternal Barbershop owner, Sundiata Osagie is the skilled chess player who has been helping Myrick sharpen up his skills.
“It’s a different style. When I play people in standard tournaments, I know what to expect. Here, they play more freestyle.” – Cahree Myrick
Myrick demolished the competition two weeks ago at the United States Chess Federation SuperNationals going 7-0 in his division. Osagie was an extremely proud coach.
“Playing chess in this shop is a staple. It’s what we push. We call it mental calisthenics. A lot of older guys love it. They swear by the game. They were happy that a young kid from Baltimore won. The culture of chess in Baltimore is bigger than people know. It flies under the radar. Cahree’s victory and his performance in the national tournament prove that guys have been putting in work, 24-7.” – Sundiata Osagie
Myricks win has been called “perfection” by the Baltimore Kids Chess League. Baltimore’s Mayor, Catherine Pugh honored Myrick and his teammates at City Hall on Wednesday and Myrick got a special invite from the Baltimore Orioles to Camden Yards on this Friday. Having finished 24th last year Myrick and his team, the Sun notes, never expected to win the championship.
“Everyone has a chance to win against whoever they play. I knew if I stick to my plan and tried my best that I would be fine.It was my toughest game yet. The key to winning is not giving up. Keep thinking and pushing until you get there. And that’s what I did.” – Cahree Myrick