Carissa Yip: 9 Years Old, And Youngest Ever US Chess Expert

Carissa Yip is a chess expert, and she’s only 9 years old. This puts her in the top 7 percent of the over 51,000 players who belong to the US Chess Federation.

And she has achieved this ranking at younger age than anyone else since the chess federation started its electronic record-keeping system way back in 1951.

Her father, Percy Yip, who taught her the game for years, believes she can even go higher, to master level: ”Some never reach master level,” he said. ”From expert to master, it’s a huge jump.”

Carissa’s first competitions were at the MetroWest Chess Club and Wachusett Chess Club. She also played in an international competition in Slovenia at the end of last year, and she will compete in the World Youth Championships in the United Arab Emirates in December.

She has set herself the goal of becoming a chess master and hopes one day to be the first woman to win the overall championship – but not only in the female category. To demonstrate her amazing ability, she played a game with her back to the chessboard, relying on her memory to make her moves. The US Chess Federation places her in the top 2 percent of all its female players.

Carissa has made a strong impression on veteran chess players. Nathan Smolensky, the president of the Massachusetts Chess Association said, ”This was not a record she won by a few days……it was a significant margin. So it’s very impressive.” Most of the people she played against at the Boylston Chess Club in Somerville, were boys and teenagers. Smolensky added, ”Even they say they were nowhere near this strength when they were that young.”

If Carrisa Yip wants to beat the record for becoming youngest U.S. chess master, she only has three years. At the moment, this record is held by Irina Krush, who became a master at age 12.

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