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Checkmate: Baltimore 7th Grader Now National Chess Champion

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Baltimore is now home to a national chess champion.

7th grader Cahree Myrick came out on top earlier this week against hundreds of other students.

WJZ's Devin Bartolotta sat down for a chess board battle against the champ.

Spoiler alert: She did not do very well.

Chess is more than just a hobby for Roland Park Middle School's Cahree Myrick, who has worked very hard for this title.

"I remember the first thing we learned was how to move the pawns," Myrick said.

This straight-A student-athlete coached WJZ's Devin Bartolotta through a game she hadn't played in years.

He is the best in the country after taking home a mega-trophy from the U.S. Chess Federation's National Tournament.

"I expected to do well, but I didn't expect to win the whole thing," Myrick said.

The Roland Park team practices four days a week after school. Myrick's coach even gives them homework to stay sharp.

"They work hard during the school year and everybody wants to be on the team and wants to go, so we try to take as many as we can," said teacher Annett Zimmer.

Four other students from Roland Park went to nationals. As a team, they placed 13th out of more than 40 teams.

Roland Park Middle School has won the national title twice as a team.

Cahree, whose been playing since 1st grade, says the strategy is his favorite part of the game.

"I think [my favorite part it] practice and studying the board," Myrick said. "Because in order to be successful, you need to know tactics, you need to know all of the rules."

He beat out hundreds of chess experts his own age for his title, plus one WJZ reporter.

A Baltimore-raised brainiac, and a chess master in the making.

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