Nine-year-old girl becomes youngest US chess 'expert'
A nine-year-old girl is aiming to become a chess "master" after being named the youngest American player ever to reach the level of "expert" in the game.
Carissa Yip, of Massachusetts, has joined the ranks of the country's best players just three years after completing her first match, and will compete in the world youth championships in December.
Her 2000 rating from the US Chess Federation places her in the top two per cent of American women and the top seven per cent of all players registered with the organisation.
"This was not a record she won by a few days," said Nathan Smolensky, the president of the Massachusetts Chess Association. "It was a significant margin. So it's very impressive." Carissa must reach a rating of 2,200 to be ranked a master, and has three years to do this as the youngest ever. Irina Krush, the US women's number one, currently holds the record, having become a master at the age of 12.
Carissa's father, Percy, who taught her until she became too good for him, said she could reach master level in a year. Yet she appears unfazed by her success. "It's not like the rating matters," she said.