Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Phillip Cracks 1200

Third grader Phillip Parker-Turner, Ray School’s nationally ranked chess champion, has just reached a major milestone: a U.S. Chess Federation rating of 1200. Phillip's mom, Teresa Parker, sends this report:

"Phillip played on January 7 at the Glenview Winter Classic (Chess in Chicago organizers). He tied for first place in the 2-3 category, but the real thrill was yesterday when we looked up his updated rating and it hit the 1200 mark! Needless to say, we're all thrilled."

And so are we. Chess ratings reflect playing strength based on competition against others. If the number 1200 doesn't mean anything to you, let me put it into context. Take a look at this now out-of-date list from early December of the top 100 eight-year-old chess players in the country. You’ll see that Phillip, with a rating of 1144, is number 54 on the list. A glance at the rest of the list suggests that at 1200 he can probably expect to see his rank advance to somewhere near 40 when the new lists come out in February.

Yes, that’s right: we’re talking number 40 among all eight-year-olds. In the entire U.S.A. Todo el pais.

This is an exceptional accomplishment. It was less than a year ago that Phillip first broke into the national rankings with a rating of just over 1000, so he’s not only good, he’s getting better fast. Congratulations, Phillip.


Unknown said...

My club a couple of years ago were at Peterson for the Youth Chess Tournament, and during the break time everyone was in the auditorium playing chess. They saw Phillip (6 at the time) playing, and they thought it would be easy to beat up on a little kid. His mom just sat there quietly, and I had a feeling by her look that they didn't know what they were getting into. After he beat a few of my chess kids, they all started gathering around him like he was a superstar and begging to play him! They asked about him for weeks after that; they really enjoyed associating with him. That's how I met Phillip and his family.

I did a special Chess Kid of the Month on Phillip while I was with Chess in Chicago, and I had a chance to spend time with his father during the last Navy Pier Tourney. They are a good family that are not about pushing Phillip. He's doing this on his own, and I commend them for that. Reaching 1200 is by his own doing, and I expect much more growth from him in the future! Congrats!