Friday, December 07, 2007
Area chess club unites young, old
By Kevin Caufield

Frank Westphal walked into the Burger King in Oglesby looking for a challenge, but didn’t want to get embarrassed either.

Once a good chess player in his military days, the 53-year-old Oglesby resident wanted to see if he could hang with the chess enthusiasts his son, Erick, meets with on Thursday nights.

“I taught him how to play and now I can’t beat him,” Westphal said as he got ready for his first real organized chess playing adventure.

His opponent Thursday was 14-year-old Jeffrey Sokol, a club member. Not a couple minutes into the match, and Sokol had captured Westphal’s queen — his most powerful piece.

“I can’t believe I lost my queen already,” Westphal lamented with a smile. “This isn’t right.”

Ah yes, chess, the great equalizer among the young and old. But that’s just one of many reasons Dr. Ron Suarez, an optometrist, founded the Illinois Valley Chess Club in September.

“This is an opportunity for kids, male and female, to interact with adults of all ages,” he said. “Chess is the language of motion — the more you understand it the more you appreciate its beauty.”

Source: News Tribune

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