After losing to six year old girl, Rachael Li, in the World Open Chess Tournament in Philadelphia last July, I decided my mission is not winning.  Maybe my purpose can be teaching chess to students on Marco Island.

Since last July the club meets each Saturday at Marco Island Library each Saturday from 9 a.m. until noon and we plan the next chess tournament on Feb. 25.  The club name is Chess K-12 on Marco Island and we have a FaceBook page in that name.

Our mission is to provide a purposeful, challenging and enlightening environment for students to enhance their abilities to play chess.

Encourage each chess player to be a pleasant, effective tutor for beginners; study openings/closings, tactics and strategies; and compete in tournaments.

The big event so far was our chess tournament in which 12 students competed in four rounds.

All participating students received a special medallion and the top three winners received trophies.

A proud parent, watching the kids in action on the boards, made a comment: “Chess is the game!”

Hmm, that’s a very good thought. I don’t belittle other games such as knocking a little ball into a cup or tossing a bigger ball into a hoop. For sure sport games are great. But in the case of chess, the challenge is to develop the skill of careful reasoning in order to make wise decisions.

As the students get better and better at chess, generally their academic grades go up to the top. And also there are important decisions about just who will be close friends, very important decisions based on careful reasoning. In that sense, for these kids growing up so fast, you might agree: Chess is the game.

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