Checkmate!

Hearing a loud “Check!” or a resounding “Checkmate!” is all too common in the Brown Middle School Cafeteria on Thursday afternoons. This large group of boys and girls gathered around checkerboards in the corner of the cafeteria is formally know as the chess team.

The members of the chess team use their logic, mental prowess, and problem-solving skills to master the game of chess and compete with worthy oponents. Coach Moss, the club’s advisor started the chess club a few years ago.

“They love it,” he explained. “I allow them to bring their boards to the cafeteria during lunch, and they race here each Thursday. There are all into it.”

Samuel Weekes, an 8th grader at Brown and an avid member of the chess team, says he already had an understanding of the game of chess, so he knew this would be a great extracurricular activity for him to pursue. Eighth grader, Benjamin Leverette, had a different story.

“I was really looking for a  new hobby,” Benjamin said. “I wasn’t that great at chess before, so it was really something I could improve on and work on in my free time.”

According to Benjamin, the game of chess has really helped him excel in the classroom and in life. Sportsmanship, strategy, patience and learning from his mistakes are just a few of the lessons he attributes to the game. According to the chess team advisors, for many of these students chess is just as enjoyable as the game of football or basketball.

“They pound their chest when they call checkmate just like a kid does when he scores a touchdown or makes a slam dunk,” explains Mr. Childers, team advisor.

The team hopes to start participating in more competitions against other schools in the Atlanta area. This will help each member develop their competitive ratings.

“It is something they can do when they turn 70 or 80,” Coach Moss jokingly says with a smile. And that’s just what many of these students plan to do as they play and carry the skills they have learned from this game throughout the game of life.

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