OAK PARK, IL — 6-year-old Scott Escalera is making waves in the world of chess, as he just broke the record of being the highest-rated 6-year-old chess player in America.
According to the United States Chess Federation, Scott belongs to the Top 100 of under age 7 group, and landed as 22nd overall in the category.
But in the 6-years-old and under group, he is the highest-rated player, with a 1,311 rating.
Scott started playing chess when he was only 18 months old.
As early as age 5, he went through intensive chess training and has since participated in series of chess tournaments.
In just a span of 18 months, Scott has bagged 96 trophies, 36 medals, several certificates, and monetary prizes.
In almost half of the tournaments he competed in, he was the champion.
Scott’s parents could not be more proud.
Scott’s Trainor, his father, who was a varsity chess player himself in college, says each kid has his or her own talent.
The parents’ role is to help discover the talent and put it to good use.
“Ang pinaka importante is yung passion at interest ng bata. Kasi kung walang interest sa chess, hindi mo talaga mapipilit.”
Scott, who is currently in first grade, has this to say to kids who aspire to be successful in the sport like him.
“To focus, play a lot of games, review a lot of games, train, and if I lose, I never give up. … first, have fun. Second, enjoy what you’re doing. Third, keep trying. Fourth, keep trying. Lastly, be thankful.”
Scott continues to play the game as he trains and has fun, and soon he is eyeing an even bigger prize — as he sets his sights for the state championship in November and the national championship in December.