Youngest Chess Champ In Nation Attends Seashore School
LONG BRANCH, October 18 – How many second graders have the skills and confidence to challenge their Principal to a chess match? Good guess is not many unless the student happens to be Ahbi Misrha, who is not only the number one rated chess champ in the seven and under and eight and under categories in the USA. He is the youngest ever chess expert in the nation.
Mishra is no ordinary seven year old. He started playing chess at two, competed for the fist time at five and became the youngest person to be ranked Chess Expert by the U.S. Chess Federation when he broke the 2000 barrier in Hamilton, NJ at the New Jersey Open during Labor Day weekend. He won the ChessKid National Invitational playing up a section. And, he was featured in the January 4, 2016 issue of New Yorker Magazine for being one of the last three players to survive in a simultaneous exhibition held by Fabiano Caruana, the second highest rated chess player in history — winning the “Fighting Spirit Award.”
So the October 18 match he called for against Seashore Principal John Villapiano posed no problem for him. Mishra, who has taken on opponents up to 80-90 years old, spent the day counting the minutes until the 2p.m. game, according to his second grade teacher Renee Harrison Pincus. Focused, self assured and signing autographs for schoolmates, his shirt carrying the words, “I Let My Game Do The Talking,” said it all. With Link Editor Neil Schulman covering the event, it took the composed champ less than seven and a half minutes to put Villapiano in check.
This is the second time Mishra challenged Villapiano to a match. “Two years ago, Ahbi approached me at camp and asked to play. He was just five at the time, but called out each move with the precision of a pro. He won while hundreds of campers looked on in disbelief and has gone on to beat one record after the next.”
This match was no different. “I knew I had won when I forced Coach John (as he is known), to give up his queen,” Mishra said. Talking through his moves to classmates, he gestured, “You can’t move here, you can’t move there or there. Checkmate!”
When asked if he had a strategy going in to the game, he said, “I keep pushing for the win. My secret weapon is intuition.”
What does this second grader do when he isn’t in school or competing in tournaments? The answer is simple, “I practice chess,” Mishra said.
The Seashore School, which opened in 1974, is designed for families who want a smaller class size and more progressive curriculum than their town offers, at an affordable tuition. Starting in preschool, the award-winning curriculum includes foreign language, computers, science and swim lessons, along with training in dance, music, drama and art. The approach to education is so successful that students win academic competitions, score in the top percentile in standard exams, are recognized nationally for achievement and typically gain acceptance into the high schools of their choice. To observe a class in session, to arrange a tour or for more information, please call Admissions at 732-222-6464 or visit www.seashorecampandschool.com.
caption: CHECK MATE. At five years old, Ahbi Mishra challenged Seashore Director and Principal John Villapiano to a match and check mated him while hundreds of campers looked on in disbelief. Now, in second grade at The Seashore School, Mishra, ranked number one in both the seven and under and eight and under categories in the USA, and holding the record as the youngest ever chess champ, he won again October 18 in a rematch that took him less than seven and a half minutes.