Ranked Chess Player Only 12 Years Old
A 12-year-old girl and New York City public school student from the Bronx has accomplished the impossible—in just 18 months she has advanced from a complete unknown to become the 74th best woman chess player in the nation. Her accomplishment has made her one of only two girls in the U.S. and the only American female from New York City's public schools to have been invited to compete in the under 12 competition in the World Youth Chess Championships (WYCC) in Greece recently.
Medina Parrilla began playing chess in kindergarten when the game was introduced to her school through the Chess-in-the-Schools program. She was in an intensive training program to help her prepare for the world championships—practicing every day with an international chess master, reviewing strategies used by chess masters from around the world, and playing in marathon tournaments on the weekends.
Historically, chess has been a male dominated game and though more girls are playing chess at a young age, they tend to lose interest as they grow older. While many young champions in the U.S. and abroad are the product of intensive tutoring in chess and a family history of producing champions, Medina only began her formal training a few years ago through the Chess-in-the-Schools program. She is identified by other chess masters as a true child prodigy.
Medina traveled to Greece with Chess-in-the-Schools, an organization that provides free chess instruction to 38,000 economically disadvantaged children in 160 New York City public schools each year.#