The air was quiet as 12-year-old Cahree Myrick’s eyes darted across the old chess board in front of him.
“Check,” he said under his breath, slowly moving his piece to an adjacent square.
Across the table, Sundiata Osagie paused to reassess. When it became apparent that the soon-to-be eighth grader had caught the barbershop owner in a corner, he silently threw his hands up in the air, knowing it was all over. He moved a piece but seemed to know it was a futile effort.
Then, with a poker face, Myrick struck: “Checkmate.”
“Good game,” Myrick told his friend with a grin, shaking Osagie’s hand then offering him a fist-bump.
The casual afternoon game could have been an embarrassing defeat for Osagie, the owner of Reflection Eternal Barbershop in Baltimore, were it not for the fact that Myrick is a national chess champion.

READ MORE ON ABCNEWS.GO.COM