Champion gives back to community with chess lessons
Eugene Scott
The Arizona Republic
Jun. 9, 2008 12:00 AM

Aside from the chessboards in front of each student and the teacher being 12, the Sunday afternoon chess class felt like any other class.

Eric Qi, a student at Explorer Middle School, has won awards in multiple chess competitions, including the 2007 National Chess Tournament.

The 2007 seventh-grade Arizona State Chess Champion is now trying to share his knowledge with others in Phoenix through his SuperNova Chess Course.

The free classes are at 2 p.m. each Sunday at Mesquite Library, 4525 E. Paradise Village Parkway North, outside Paradise Valley Mall.

The current session, for beginners, ends in July. Qi plans to begin another free series that month. “I wanted to do something for the community, and so I found out about teaching chess,” Qi said.

“It’s really fun. You get to show people how to move. And they can learn and they like it.”

Eight students watched Qi explain moves and tricks before attempting them themselves.Most of the time they were quiet, analyzing and thinking.

Every now and then, one or two would be brave enough to attempt to correctly answer Qi’s questions. They were often wrong, but they rarely gave up.

Kalil McRoy, 7, found the fundamentals of the game challenging.

“When they trap me and then I have to try and find another piece, it’s a little complicated finding another piece,” McRoy said.

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