Junior high chess club improves critical thinking skills, exceeds expectations
By Ariel Draper
Special to the Leader-Press
The king may be the most important, but the queen is the most powerful. There are six different pieces that all move differently, moving into positions where they can capture the opponent’s pieces, defend their own pieces from being captured and control important squares in the game. When the opponent’s king is attacked and cannot avoid being captured, checkmate has occurred and the game is over.
The game of chess teaches many important life skills such as patience, strategy, logic, and concentration. According to the Renaissance Knights Chess Foundation, chess can also help students by improving spatial abilities, high order thinking skills, visual memory, attention span, prediction, critical thinking, and problem solving.
Copperas Cove Junior High student Adam Hirsch had an idea to bring people together to exercise their brains while having fun and playing games. Because of the amount of interest the game of chess garnered at school and his personal passion for the game, the 8th grader thought creating a chess club was the perfect way to do just this.
“I created the club because I noticed there were a lot of people who liked playing chess,” Hirsch said.
With the help of CCJHS staff sponsors Claudia Daniels, Brian Mitchem, and Tobi Sheon, the club is the first student-founded club at CCJHS and is gaining a lot of attention from students.
“I had a feeling this club would be popular due to the number of 8th graders wanting to challenge each other, but I never thought this many 6th and 7th graders would join,” Mitchem said.
The chess club will also host tournaments once students become more familiar with the game. Students including Chase Rotharmel look forward to entering the tournaments and were thrilled to learn that the winner will receive a $15 gift card to Cinergy Cinemas.
“I thought it’d be fun, I thought I could beat some people. But, now that I know there’s a prize, I’m going to go after that,” Rotharmel said.
Hirsch hopes to watch his club flourish and grow.
“Anyone who’s not going is missing out,” Hirsch said.
The chess club meets every Thursday after school in the school library and is open to all interested students.