A young chess champion says playing the game at his local barbershop helped him become the player he is today and it helped one 12-year-old do something no other child in Baltimore has done.
Cahree Myrick, 12, placed first in his division at the U.S. Chess Federation Supernationals this year. And he’ the first Baltimore child to do so.
“I ran back to my teams and said ‘everyone, I won! I won!’ And everyone just congratulated me. And it was just a good experience,” he said.
Myrick practices two hours a day, both online and with his after-school team. When he can, he also plays at a North Baltimore barbershop.
“Chess has been a staple in our barbershop,” said Sundiata Osagie, the owner of Reflection Eternal Barbershop. “That’s just the culture we’ve developed around here. People will just stop in and say ‘who’s playing chess? Who is the chess players in here?'”
Osagie said he cut Myrick’s hair the day before the big event.
“I said bring it home baby! We want that chip here!.”
And Myrick said that wisdom not only helped that day, but now helps him in every game that he plays. He said the barbershop is where he learned to be a true competitor.
“Sundiata taught me (to) have humbleness and just be like, everyone in this room has a chance to win,” Myrick said. “I just need to take it.”
Last month Myrick played chess with Orioles third baseman Manny Machado, second baseman Jonathan Schoop and first base coach Wayne Kirby, but they didn’t stand a chance against the champ.