By Sharon Groene
Playing chess has been proven to help students improve their power of concentration and to develop their critical thinking skills.
Chess and respect go hand in hand as the students learn to respect themselves as well as their opponent. Each game begins and ends with a handshake. Chess is an activity that can include students of all abilities.
The Holy Trinity Chess Club has been attracting students to this extracurricular activity for five years.
This year 32 students from grades one through six meet every Monday after school for an hour. Early in the year, the beginning students learn about a new piece each week — the name of the piece and how it moves. Quick, short games are played that reinforce how each piece moves. Students are also helped in developing their game by playing with the older students.
The intermediate students begin playing complete games right away. Students also learn more about strategies and participate in tournament play. Each year ends with both levels participating in the school tournament. The intermediate students also participate in a tournament with a neighboring school. Playing the game builds confidence and helps young people make new friends. As one young player commented, “Chess is fun.”