Her move: refreshingly deadpan, Ding aims for the king

Sophomore Kimberly Ding.

“She’s like a walking satire,” Lei Lei Wu chuckled.  This may in fact be the only way to describe the unique Kimberly Ding.  From writing her ERB test in old English to naming Great Gatsby characters after grocery items, Ding’s  humorous personality speaks for itself.  With her matter-of-fact attitude, Ding is a straight shooter in all avenues of her life.

Ding, a sophomore at North, has attained a prestigious ranking from the United States Chess Federation for her outstanding play at various tournaments.  She has played in a tournament in Washington D.C. and competed in the World Youth Championships in Slovenia.  Having been on the chess circuit for years, Ding has met some of the highest-ranking chess players—called grandmasters—and has played against people as much as20 or 30 years older than her.  No matter the setting, Ding only ever has one goal in mind: “beating people.”

Her knack for chess extends outside of her own tournaments, as Ding voluntarily teaches chess to children at the local library.  These children range from beginners to experienced players and are generally about six years old.  Despite their impatient nature, the kids seem to respond well to Ding’s teachings.  “One time I won a gift card to the Chess Bookstore.  I ended up buying pawn-shaped key chains for the kids, and they seemed to like them,” Ding said.

As a student and friend, Ding balances both aspects of life with class.  Enrolled in AP Calculus BC, Ding hopes to someday enter the math-heavy field of engineering.  “She’s extremely intelligent, but doesn’t flaunt it,” sophomore Diana Tang said.  “Her matter-of-fact nature is a quality you don’t find in many people.  It is very refreshing to have a friend who won’t sugar-coat stuff.”

Ding displays a proactive nature in every move she makes, and she keeps a level head in both chess and life.  In a world full of euphemisms, Ding’s blunt honesty  is much needed.

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