PRODIGY ALERT: This 19-Year Old Chess Star And Linebacker Interned At Fortress As A Junior In Highschool

Courtney Comstock | Apr. 21, 2011, 9:21 AM

Robert Hess is probably one of the most amazing 19-year olds out there.

He’s a chess prodigy with a 2565 ELO ranking, which is even better than Patrick Wolff‘s, the former Clarium fund manager who started a hedge fund based on his chess abilities (called Grand Master Capital).

Wolff’s ELO, his “batting average,” is 2564, one point lower than Hess’. Both are top scores. There’s technically no “best” ELO rating, but if you’re in the 2700s, you’re among the best in the world. (Hess’s ranking is #358 in the world.)

And more to the youngster’s credit, Hess won the U.S. Junior Championship in 2006 at age 14. As NYDailyNews points out, Bobby Fischer, the ultimate yardstick for American chess brilliance, accomplished the same feat at a comparable age of 13.

Topping it all off, he’s a linebacker at Stuyvesant High School, the Brooklyn-based charter school for gifted kids (he attacks the field like he attacks the chess board: “You’re looking through the offensive line, the pawns, the line of defense,” he says).

And he’s already got a good internship under his belt: he interned at Fortress last year, as just a junior in high school.

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