Abilene Chess Club members gather at Sharky's for dinner and a game
By Eric J. Shelton
Posted November 9, 2012 at 10 p.m.
At Sharky's Burrito Co., you can get a good burrito and also work on your chess skills.
Every Thursday evening the Abilene Chess Club, which has been around since 1969, meets at Sharky's at 1095 N. Judge Ely Blvd. to sharpen skills, share techniques and learn ways to stay healthy.
Members vary in skill level and range in age from 13 to 77. Most are men, but chess instructor Aaron Morris hopes to get more women involved.
"My main objective as a teacher is to get more females involved in chess," said Morris, who has been teaching chess for 12 years. "In the world of chess, there are more female players than before."
Morris is not the only member with hopes of more female members. "It would be cool if more of my female friends would join the club," said 13-year-old Sophia Barrington, who has been playing chess since she was 8.
The older members of the club benefit from the game of chess from a health point of view.
"Playing chess improves your memory, concentration and visualization," Morris said. "This can help prevent Alzheimer's disease."
Royce Owens, 77, who has been a member since 1990, has taken advantage of these benefits.
"Chess makes you think and it is good for your mind," Owens said. "I have had several health problems, but I don't give up because I love chess."
It's obvious chess is more than just a game for the members of the Abilene Chess Club. So, the next time you're near Sharky's on a Thursday night, drop in for a meal and a healthy game of chess.