Scott Middle School student wins state chess title
February 27, 2008

Post-Tribune correspondent

HAMMOND — Michael McNerlin, 13, learned the basics of chess from his father when he was 4 years old.

McNerlin, a Scott Middle School seventh-grader, has built upon his expertise, playing with like-minded young students at school and entering many competitions.

“I joined Chess Club because I love to play the game,” McNerlin said. “I am learning focus, competition and concentration skills.”

He apparently has learned his lessons well; McNerlin recently won his age group in the Scholastic Chess of Indiana state finals at East Side Middle School in Anderson. He competed in a field of 64.

Paula and Mike McNerlin felt their son had what it took to win a state title and were thrilled when he did so.

“We were very proud …,” Paula said. “Michael has belonged to Chess Club for many years — since grade school — and has (improved) each year.”

The McNerlins said Scott Middle School teacher and chess coach John Pimentel had much to do with Michael’s success.

“Mr. Pimentel taught me the matrix system of chess, which helped me develop my skills,” Michael said. “He is a great coach and teacher.”

Here is the full article.

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