Thames kids face off over chess board
By Nancy Kaffer
Hattiesburg, Miss

Robert Green, 11, likes chess for its strategy. Semaj Harris, 10, likes the king because it’s the most powerful piece. Ten-year-old Maya Loncar likes the game because she can beat the tar out of unsuspecting opponents.

The game of kings, it seems, has a lot to offer elementary school students.

All three students are part of Thames Elementary School’s 2-year-old chess club, founded by Robert, who says he was tired of playing against his older brother.

About 20 third- through sixth-graders gather in the Thames cafeteria every Thursday, said co-sponsor Georgia Fields, who oversees the club along with teacher Thomasina Parker.

After a snack, the kids divide into groups: beginner, novice and advanced. At the advanced players’ table, chess is serious business. The kids are learning how to score their games and take the notation that will allow them to later reconstruct games.

It’s challenging, said 12-year-old Dacia Wright, a new arrival to the advanced group, but worth it.

“Now I can see what my moves were when I didn’t win,” she said. “I can go back and play it with a family member and figure out where I went wrong.”

Here is the full article.

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