Waverly is an energetic young Chinese – American girl. The moment she saw an opportunity to play chess she ran all the way home and back just to be able to play “I ran home and grabbed Vincent’s chess set, which was found in a cardboard box with rubber bands. ….. “Want to play?” I asked him. (Tan, 3) Another example in which it is shown just how energetic Waverly is in the same page ““Why does she get to play and we do all the work,” complained Vincent. “Is new American rules,” said my mother. “Meimei play, squeeze all her brains out for win chess. You play, worth squeeze towel.”” (Tan, 4)
Waverly also has a negative side in which she is a rather mischievous and an annoying young girl. One example is “”Let me! Let me!” I begged between games when one brother or the other would sit back with a deep sigh of relief and victory, the other annoyed, unable to let go of the outcome. …. he relented.” (Tan, 3) She is unrelenting and that she can also be very annoying to her peers. Another excerpt can also show this but in a less obvious way. “One day, as she struggled to weave a hard-toothed comb through my disobedient hair, I had a sly thought. I asked her, “Ma, what is Chinese torture?”” (Tan, 2)
All in all, Waverly is also a very smart individual and was even touted as a child prodigy. “I was touted as the Great American Hope, a child prodigy and a girl to boot. They ran a photo of me in Life magazine next to a quote in which Bobby Fischer” (Tan, 4) As you can see when she tries hard she can be very smart she is even coming kind of close to becoming a grandmaster completely overwriting what a previous chess player stated. This quote shows how she got to this level of chess playing. “I borrowed books from the Chinatown library. I studied each chess piece, trying to absorb the power each contained. I learned about opening moves and why it’s important to control the center early on; the shortest distance between two points is straight down the middle.” (Tan, 3)
As shown from all of these examples Waverly Jong the child prodigy has an energetic energy, mischievous and annoying personality, and an intelligent young mind that is the making of a child prodigy.