The Denton High School Chess Club is presenting an event Saturday at Barnes & Noble Booksellers. Clockwise, from left, are vice president Luke Cadwallader-Daniel; Kelly Shiflet, club shirt consultant; treasurer Luis Guevara; MariPen Yeatts, shirt artist; volunteer chess coach Alexey Root; school Principal Darrell Muncy; club sponsor Fred Mueller; and secretary William Root. Not pictured is president Nathan Place.

Checkmate, please
Chess club players show off moves
06:32 PM CDT on Thursday, March 17, 2011

Chess anyone? From 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Denton High School Chess Club officers will play a variety of chess activities from books written by Denton resident Alexey Root, a former women’s chess champion. Root will be on hand to answer questions about chess in education, sign books and further explain the activities.

“These chess activities are similar to drills in sports, such as practicing dribbling in basketball or serving in tennis. That is, one can learn and improve at chess — or a sport — by working on one part of the game,” Root said. “The activities also don’t take much time, which is helpful for those members of the public who can only stop by for a three-minute activity.”

Saturday afternoon’s event will be at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, at Golden Triangle Mall, 2201 Interstate 35E.

The Chess Club officers will also play full chess games with the public at this free event, Root said.

The Denton High Chess Club was formed during this academic year and meets from 4 to 5 p.m. Fridays. Fred Mueller, a Denton High School math teacher, is the club sponsor, and Root serves as a volunteer chess coach.

The club has already successfully competed in several chess tournaments and will be hosting one of its own on May 14 at North Branch Library. For more information about the tournament, contact Mueller at 940-369-2000 or

The Denton Public Library also offers a free chess club for all ages from 6 to 9 p.m. Mondays at North Branch Library, 3020 N. Locust St.

All five of Root’s educational books on chess will be available for purchase at the Barnes & Noble event.

“Each of the books has lesson plans and activities that were tested, in part, in Denton ISD schools and public libraries,” said Root. “The books are suitable for educators, librarians, and parents, especially for those who work with children in grades 3-8.”

Root said she loves chess because it allows her “to connect with both young people and older people from diverse cultures.”

“Chess allows children to practice problem-solving heu­ristics and pattern recognition in a social context,” she said. “It’s a fun, intellectual activity that can be enjoyed throughout life.”

— Ellen Ritscher Sackett


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