At just 16 years of age, Carissa Yip has quickly become one of the top female players in America. Known for her creativity and fighting spirit over the board, she enters the tournament with a FIDE rating of 2418, just below her peak of rating 2425. Yip has been on a record-shattering pace ever since she learned how to play the game from her father at age 6. At age 9, she became the youngest female expert (rating of 2000+) in US Chess history. Two years later, she broke the record for youngest female to achieve the title of National Master at the age of 11 years, 5 months, and 18 days.
Along the way to Master, she set the record for youngest female player to beat a Grandmaster for her win against GM Alexander Ivanov in the New England Open a few days before her 11th birthday. Yip also represented the US at the 2019 World Team Championship in Kazakhstan, scoring many fines wins, including one over former Women’s World Champion Anna Ushenina. She earned her final IM norm at the 2019 SPICE Cup and her IM title is expected to be approved the the 90th FIDE Congress in Abu Dhabi at the end of February this year.
As the only non-GM participant in the field, Yip is surely considered to be an underdog at this year’s Cairn’s Cup. However, all the pressure will be on her higher-rated opponents as Yip has shown that she can compete with the best.