Brooklyn teen receives college scholarship with her chess skills

Jessica Hyatt, a sophomore from Success Academy Charter School, is a winner. A queen of the game, with the confidence of a dominant player.

News 12 Staff

Oct 18, 2020, 2:21 AM

Updated 1,317 days ago

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A Brooklyn teen is on her way to becoming one of the best chess players in the world.
Jessica Hyatt, a sophomore from Success Academy Charter School, is a winner. A queen of the game, with the confidence of a dominant player.
"When I play in my openings, it's aggressive. If my opponent makes a certain move, like a wrong ... a bad move, it's over for them, I would wipe them off the board," Hyatt says.
Her teacher, David Mbonu, says the game is underrepresented and that Hyatt is growing into a role model for other young chess players and on the path to become the first African American female chess master, someone for girls like her to look up to.
"Jessica doesn't have that person. There is no person for Jessica to have that person to look up to, but the really special thing that Jessica has in front of her, is she has the opportunity to become that person," Mbonu says
The student is ranked in the top 10 of Black female chess players in the country and just received a $40,000 scholarship for her hard work.
She is not just a winner on the chess board, but is taking skills learned in the game and applying them to life.
"The more patient you are, the more willing you are to look at what different routes you can take and try weigh those routes and how they're going to affect. That, obviously is going to help your position to be much better in chess and in life of course as well, especially when you're young," Mbonu says.
Success Academy Charter School offers a chess curriculum and students fly all over the country to play in tournaments.


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