Student seeks chess mates, willing to train

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Ryan Pridgeon may seem an unlikely chess teacher. For one thing, he just turned 12.

But Pridgeon is as dedicated a teacher as he is a student and has initiated a chess club at the Raymond Village Library, where he teaches his peers on the last Wednesday of every month.

“I basically play against them,” Pridgeon said. “I show them how to write their moves on paper, and after they play a game I just go over the game with them and show them what they could have done differently.”

Pridgeon moved to Raymond from Providence, R.I., where he studied chess under Willie Stevens, who teaches chess in city libraries there. To his students, Stevens is known as “Mr. Willie.”

“I first learned (chess) when I was 5,” Pridgeon said. “I met Mr. Willie when I was 8.”

After a year and a half of instruction from Mr. Willie, Pridgeon’s abilities were beyond those of his peers. “I wouldn’t say better,” Pridgeon said, “but more advanced.”

With Mr. Willie’s encouragement, Pridgeon joined the U.S. Chess Federation and participated in chess tournaments.

“It was kind of cool going to the tournaments and playing against other people my level,” Pridgeon said.

But when Pridgeon moved to Raymond, he had no one to teach him.

So he decided to become a teacher himself.

Here is the full article.

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Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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