Citizen Co-Hosts First Annual Inner City Chess Tournament

By Safiyyah Muhammad

The Chicago Citizen Newspaper Group Inc. has partnered with a local mentoring program, A Better Tomorrow (ABT) to host their 1st Annual Chicago Inner City Team Chess Tournament. The event will be held on September 24th at the headquarters of the Quentin B. Garth (QBG) Foundation, located on 806 East 78th Street.

John Porter, founder of the Inner City Chess Tournament, Chicago resident and director of ABT, said he and the Chicago Citizen Newspaper have co-partnered and are working with youth on the west and south sides of the city to provide a positive environment for youth and to encourage academic and professional advancement through the game of chess.

According to a press release, the tournament serves as an introductory event intended to introduce youth to the game of chess and encourage it as a positive activity. Research shows that the continued participation in the game of chess can improve learning, thinking, analytical power and decision making.

“Chess is a thinking game and has proven in other societies, and in other cultures to be very rewarding intellectually and academically. Chess will also give youth a sense of structure and is used as a vehicle to change some of the mindsets of our youth,” Porter said.

Porter added that youth from ABT will be on hand to participate with teams and learn the game of chess. Porter is an expert in chess and is asking that players and non-players come out to support the event. The event will be open to a limited amount of spectators due to the size of the venue.

To help youth succeed in all areas of their lives, the community must unite, said Darrell Garth, publisher of the Chicago Citizen. “It is important to find organizations such as ABT and the Citizen that are making positive moves in the community because it takes a village to raise a child. Not only should the Citizen Newspaper partner with these types of programs, but all black business should. This helps raise young peoples’ consciousness; and that in fact helps the community as a whole. When organizations come together, we end up with more productive youth,” Garth said.

Chicago Citizen’s General Manager Janice Garth said, “that after listening to statistics week after week and day after day, we decided that change starts with us. With that in mind, the newspaper’s management team decided they wanted to form a male mentoring program to help at-risk youth. We were excited by Porter’s partnership. This opportunity fell in line with our idea of teaching young minds to think at a different level. We saw the chess program as a great fit towards meeting the mission of our nonprofit arm, the QBG Foundation, which has been committed to the education of our disadvantaged youth.”

“We hope that this annual event will not only bring exposure to the benefits of playing chess, but will help to create additional support that will increase the number of inner city youth who want to learn to play the amazing game of chess,” Porter added.

According to a press release, teams of 4 can register for a special rate of $125.00 before September 17 and on-site registration for teams will cost $150.00.

Each team will be allowed to have one (1) alternate player in case a regular member cannot play and each team must have an average rating under 2200.

Registration opens at 9:00 a.m. and the first round begins promptly at 10:00 a.m. Prizes and trophies will be given to the winners of the event.

If you are interested in supporting or sponsoring a team for the First Annual Tournament or if you’d like to sponsor future events, please contact John Porter at


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