Chess for Kids in the ‘Hood

Written by Mansoor Kapasi

Chess for Kids. Photo by Molly Wetterschneider.“Checkmate!  Umm…right?”  “No, it’s not!”

If I had a dollar for every time I heard an exchange like this at our weekly neighborhood Chess for Kids gatherings, I could probably buy out the bulk candy aisle at in.gredients in a month.  Unsurprisingly, the opponent declaring “no, it’s not” is usually correct and the game goes on!  Hopefully everyone remembers to shake hands before and after each game, saying “good luck” at the beginning and “good game” at the end.

Most of us have heard that chess improves analytical and spatial thinking, planning ahead, and problem solving.  Through chess we can also teach our budding youngsters about good sportsmanship, patience and perseverance, and kindness even in the midst of competition.

While all ages are welcome, most of the kids who come to learn and play chess are between five and eight years old.  They are an adorable bunch!  Some of the kids are absolute beginners learning how to set up the board and then move the various pieces. Others want to understand how to castle and the difference between checkmate and stalemate.  All of the kids want to have fun.

So send us a shout if you know of or have a kid that would like to join us.  And dust off that chess board and start practicing, because soon you may be sitting at Cherrywood Coffeehouse facing a six year old with some mad chess skills!

Chess for Kids is usually held every Sunday, 10:30-11:30am. This weekend, the meetup will take place on Saturday, July 12, instead of Sunday. For more info or to RSVP, contact organizers Mansoor Kapasi and Molly Wetterschneider by .

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