For many of us, at the age of 12 going to the barbershop for a haircut or new style was tedious. Go in, sit around for what feels like forever, and then leave with the wind hitting your head all day in unfamiliar places. For 12 year old Cahree Myrick, however, his best days are at the barber shop!
Cahree got introduced to chess at a very young age when he was still in the 1st grade. There, he played and played at Roland Park Elementary school under Lesa Horne, who also coaches the middle school club as well. From there he joined the Baltimore Kids Chess League and continued practicing and playing whenever he could, sometimes up to 5 times a day! Although Cahree is not the first person to become a national champion that comes from the League, he is the first solo player to do so, and the first in all of Baltimore.
Competition was fierce the day of the tournament, with 28 other states in the division alone to compete against, Cahree had to rise to the top among all of them. Needless to say he rose to the challenge. While winning the championship title is impressive all on his own, Cahree never even lost a single match along the way! It wasn’t always easy, however. The previous year’s tournament, Cahree placed 24th in the division. And impressive number, but this year definitely a significant leap from the previous.
One of the many places that Cahree was able to practice in was his local barbershop, where the owner Sundiata Osagie plays frequently himself. With the help and support of his friends and family, as well as Sundiata and Coach Horne, Cahree was able to rise up among the other 249 competitors the day of the competition!
With perseverance and support, it’s never too early to achieve amazing things!