Lexington youth crowned national chess champion

By Jason Crotty/Staff Writer
Thu Apr 30, 2009, 01:05 PM EDT

Lexington – Mika Brattain received his first college scholarship earlier this month.

And he’s only 10.

Brattain, a fifth grader at Harrington Elementary School, won the K-5 Chess Super National Championship at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn. on April 5. He won a $1,500 scholarship as a first-place K-5 winner at the Super National event, which he will receive when he enrolls in college.

“I was just really excited,” said Mika, adding that he took an immediate liking to chess.

Besides attending school, completing homework, playing sports and doing other fifth-grade activities, Brattain hones his chess skills for nearly two hours an evening as part of an Internet Chess Club and by playing his father, Michael.

He has been playing since he was 6 years old.

“We’re really proud of him. He’s worked hard to achieve this and I couldn’t be prouder,” said Michael of his son, while Mika added, “I think I would wake up early and use sign language to spell ‘chess’ and then when I was sleeping, I was mumbling moves.”

Mika practices weekly at the Boylston Chess Club in Somerville and the Metrowest Chess Club in Natick — two of the largest chess clubs in New England. He has been competing in about one chess tournament per month.

Here is the full article.

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