Checkmate Champion
Jonesboro chess team ready for USCF national competition
By Bill Baldowski

Benjamin Franklin, one of the U.S. founding fathers and a renowned chess player in his time, had a unique perspective on the game of chess and how it relates to life itself.

“Life is like chess,” he said, “with struggles, competition and good and ill moves.”

If that be the case, the Jonesboro High School chess team, known as the Royal Knights, is leading an extremely good life as it looks to again participate in the National United States Chess Federation Championships April 28 to May 1 at the Opryland Resort in Nashville.

Coached by community volunteer Carlton Moncrief and sponsored by Jonesboro teacher Mark McPherson, the team soared into the national USCF spotlight last year by finishing second in the nation, despite the sudden, unexpected death just a few days before the tournament of one of its prime members, Ayana Colbert.

In just five short years since it was organized in 2007, the Royal Knights have built a reputation of talent, patience and competitiveness to become one of the most skilled and well-coached teams in the country.

“Our players have worked hard at becoming more proficient at their own chess skills,” McPherson said, explaining the team practices for at least two hours, three days a week, which does not include the countless hours of practice each member spends on his own.

“Our players are dedicated as we want to bring the national championship trophy here to Jonesboro,” he added.

Full article here.

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar