When Charisse Woods peers over a chess board, she’s constantly on the lookout for three things.
“Checks, captures and threats, in that order,” said Charisse, 14, of Detroit, who noted that when those things are under control, “I just make a plan of what I want to do and move toward it.”
Charisse’s plan now is to become the first African American woman to become a national master, a ranking given by the International Chess Federation based on a player’s competitive record. Only a tiny percentage of players ever reach that rank and most of them are men.
A black woman from the United Kingdom achieved the rank, but as far as Charisse knows, no American black woman has done it.