Chess and Scrabble games huge draw for high schoolers
By Pat Sherman
2:00 a.m. April 9, 2009
San Diego Union Tribune – San Diego, CA, USA

SAN MARCOS — Though video games may rule in a teenager’s home, in the San Marcos High School library, it isn’t uncommon to see a crowd of students huddled around a chess, checkers or Scrabble board during lunch or after school.

Students perform their silent machinations: Eager observers occasionally lean in to suggest a move or a strategy in a whisper.

“There’s always at least four chess games going,” librarian Yvonne Brett said. “It’s really quite a phenomenon. . . . At the end of the game, they shake each other’s hand.”

After a recent match between juniors Sowoong Park and Francisco Sotelo, both 17, Sowoong summed up his victory like this: “If I see an opening, I just go for it.”

Junior Pierson Cepeda, 16, said he likes the strategy of chess. Though he considers himself a novice, Pierson said his game has improved as a result of watching Sowoong and others play.

“My friends are all teaching me strategies . . . how to pin down more than one piece if there’s an opening,” Pierson said.

An opponent’s piece is considered pinned when it cannot move because doing so would expose a more valuable piece to attack.

Here is the full article.

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