Chess Team Is Key to Success for US College
By Brian Wagner
19 April 2007

Chess is one of the oldest and most popular games in the world. An estimated 45 million Americans play chess, and many universities and colleges have chess clubs or teams, even though chess competes for attention against scores of other campus activities. VOA’s Brian Wagner tells us about a team of chess players in south Florida — most of them immigrants from Cuba or other Latin American nations — whose chessboard success has put their community college in the national spotlight.

Most sports fan in the United States crave action, whether it is long passes in football or high jumps in extreme sports like BMX bicycle racing. It is difficult for a game like chess to get the same kind of attention, says Renier Gonzalez, captain of the Miami Dade College chess team. “Actually, it’s not even considered a sport in the U.S. But in other countries it is.”

Renier and his teammates, however, take chess very seriously. Last month, the college’s small team competed at the “Final Four of Chess” tournament. Miami Dade has been to the “Final Four of Chess” for the past four years, facing teams from several major universities. This year the team from the public school in south Florida finished third in the nation.

Here is the full article.

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