Since of the age of 12, Medina Parrilla has been a scholastic sensation and has a case full of trophies and accolades to prove it. Pages of The Chess Drum are replete with stories of her exploits. Now on the verge of graduating high school, she is embarking on perhaps the pivotal point in her chess career.
Parrilla, who has already won a scholarship to University of Texas-Dallas, will hopefully continue her progress in chess. She has led her schools to several championships and has represented the U.S. at the Youth Championships on two occasions. She is now added another “unofficial” accolade by breaking the 2000 rating barrier in the U.S. Chess Federation. This barrier puts a player above the class level and declares one an “Expert,” a honor that only the upper 4% of players in the country have.
Parrilla becomes the first female of African descent to accomplish this in over 25 years since Baraka Shabazz. On her heels is Darrian Robinson and perhaps a slew of other young female players. No Black woman has ever earned the Master’s title (2200 rating) in the USCF and she could be the first.