8-Year Old Becomes Youngest Black Female to Go Undefeated in a National Chess Competition

Diamond Shakoor, youngest Black female chess champion

Meet Diamond Shakoor, who in 2009 at age 8, became the youngest African-American female to go undefeated in a Chess National competition. She has since played in more than 250 tournaments and is a seven-time national champion.
Shakoor, who is from Columbus, Ohio, and learned the game at the Urban Kings & Queens Chess Academy, says that her goal is to become the first and youngest African American female chess grandmaster. She comments, "I love to play chess, it’s like life basically. It’s like a battle. Half of it is natural talent, but I’m starting to study now.”

Her dad, Abdul Shakoor, who has two master's degrees and teaches courses on chess, has been Diamond’s teacher since she was about 7-years old. He admits that Diamond can now consistently beat him. He comments, “When she’s focused, it’s incredibly tough to beat her.”

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, in 2012, the two moved from Ohio to St. Louis’ to take advantage of the city's "burgeoning chess scene."

He compares his daughter to a young Serena Williams or even a female Tiger Woods. “I have a feeling she is going to be a female world champion,” he said.

Diamond feels the same. “Chess means everything to me,” she once said. “It’s changed my whole life for the positive.”