BLACK VOICES
06/01/2017 01:36 pm ET Updated Jun 14, 2017

This 12-Year-Old Is Baltimore's First National Youth Chess Champion

And he fine-tunes his skills at his local barbershop.

At only 12 years old, Cahree Myrick has become Baltimore’s first national youth chess champion ― and he has maintained straight-A’s in the process. 

The seventh-grader, who attends Roland Park Middle School, was able to outperform 249 other players from across the U.S. in his division at the United States Chess Federation, The Baltimore Sun reported Wednesday. 

“I expected to do well, but I did not expect to win the whole thing,” Cahree told CBS Baltimore

On Wednesday, he was honored by Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh and his teammates from the Baltimore Kids Chess Leagues ― an organization only open to public school students ― outside of City Hall. He was even invited to kick it at Camden Yards with MLB team the Baltimore Orioles on Friday. 

What’s even more impressive about the miniature superhuman is that he fine-tunes his chess skills at the Reflection Eternal Barbershop in the Barclay neighborhood of Baltimore. 

His mother, Yuna Spears, who was right by Cahree’s side during the Mother’s Day weekend tournament, told The Baltimore Sun that she prefers for her son to practice at the barbershop because of the culture that surrounds him there. Cahree certainly has no qualms about practicing at the shop. 

“It’s a different style,” he told the publication. “When I play people in standard tournaments, I know what to expect. Here, they play more freestyle.”

When Cahree isn’t practicing chess four days of the week with his school’s chess team or running track, he tries to impart his skills to his 4-year-old brother at the shop.

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