5-year-old chess prodigy prepares for national competition

A five-year-old chess-playing prodigy from Katy is gearing up for the national championships after taking the title at the Texas kindergarten state championships.

It's a game of mental stamina and Ryan Mecham doesn't mind admitting he's good at it.

"It's super easy," said Ryan. "I don't even have to have a strategy." He brought home a trophy in November as big as him.

"I walked out with it feeling really proud," added Ryan. "I won every match at state. I won first place."

With the Texas title in his hands, his sights are set on the national tournament in Florida in two weeks.

"He will be playing with kids from all across the United States," said Mary Mecham, Ryan's mother.

Mary said it all started less than a year ago when he saw someone else playing chess and asked how it worked.

"We took him to the local library's chess club, and in a couple weeks, he was beating almost everyone there," said Mary.

"I was playing kids I've already played and won exactly every match," said Ryan.

And just for fun, Ryan competes against adults too.

"At my dad's work, I beat 'em all," said Ryan.  His sights are set high as he works to improve his skill.

"So I can beat Magnus, the best chess player in the world," said Ryan.

The Nottingham Country Elementary student is making his principal proud.

"I can say I knew him when, I knew him when he was five years-old," said Tracy Stroud, principal of Nottingham Country Elementary.

"I just thought it would be a phase he'd go through like dinosaurs, and he's stuck with chess," said Mary.

Just how long does Ryan plan to stick with chess?

"About as long as I live," said Ryan.

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