Checkmate at Bainbridge
Chess is more than just a game.
Bainbridge Elementary School's chess club members learn the basics of how to play, but also learn some essential life skills.
"Chess is like life, you have to make good decisions and (they) learn about consequences," said coach G. David Guerrero.
Guerrero, a professional engineer and the chess club coach at the school, always enjoyed playing chess. He said he learned from his father who was an avid chess player.
He has been teaching chess for a little over 20 years. It takes about 12 hours to plan each club meeting.
Guerrero said that his biggest reward after all the planning and practices is to see the students progress further in understanding the game. The club consists of students from kindergarten through fifth grade. There are about 30 student participants.
Seth Christian, a third grader, joined the chess club at the school and found that he enjoys it.
"I thought it would be (an) interesting game. Last year I thought it was really cool," said Christian. "I learned about all the (different playing) pieces. I learned how to castle (too)."
Castling is when the king and the rook are moved together. It is one of the only moves in chess that a player can move two pieces simultaneously.
The kindergarten students start out learning how to move the pawns. They learn this step by completing a game of who can get the most pieces to the other side of the board and obtain the most points.
The more experienced students learn more complicated moves and strategies such as "checking".
The students practice every Wednesday for an hour and have been meeting since mid October.
At each practice, the students review what they have learned in previous ones but also learn new strategies and tactics. They then take what they have learned and apply it to practice games with their fellow club members.
"Chess is supposed to be a quiet game but that's one thing they haven't learned yet," said Guerrero.
The students learned a tactical strategy, the King's gambit last week.
"Ultimately, you want to learn to force your opponent to make a move he doesn't want to make," said Guerrero.
Comments are closed.