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Meed Shakoor, the 8-Year-Old Girl Who Won US Chess Competition With Remarkable Record

An 8-year-ood girl identified as Diamond Shakoor made history as the youngest African-American female to remain undefeated in a national chess competition in US.

Diamond Shakoor

An exceptional 8-year-old girl, Diamond Shakoor, made history by becoming the youngest African-American female to remain undefeated in a national chess competition in the United States.

Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, Diamond achieved this milestone at the United States Chess Federation (USCF) competition held in Florida in 2009.

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Diamond’s chess journey began when she expressed interest to her father, Abdul Shakoor, an AmeriCorps Vista volunteer who taught chess to 150 children. Abdul then started coaching her, leading to her first tournament in April 2008.

In her initial tournament, Diamond placed 42nd out of 97 participants. She improved rapidly, securing 4th place in the Ohio All Girls Championship for the K-2nd grade age group. She then earned 2nd place among 2nd graders in the Ohio Grade Level State Championships, before clinching her first national title at the USCF competition in Florida.

Diamond enjoys chess for its strategic nature and the opportunities it provides to travel and improve. “I love to play chess; it’s like life, a battle. Half of it is natural talent, but I’m starting to study now,” she said.

Abdul Shakoor believes chess enhances academic performance, self-esteem, and critical thinking skills. With support from Lou Seipel, Director of Supportive Services at CPO, they managed to get Diamond to Florida for the competition.

Abdul proudly notes that Diamond can now consistently beat him. “When she’s focused, it’s incredibly tough to beat her. I have a feeling she is going to be a female world champion,” he said.

Since then, Diamond has won seven trophies and fifteen medals for her chess prowess and has been officially recognized by the Columbus City School Board of Education for her exceptional skills.

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