Tuesday, January 07, 2014
Inner city kids aiming to capture some hardware
Minor Threats Chess Club Hopes To Attend Competition Through Fundraiser
Posted: Jan 06, 2014 7:08 PM CST
West Philadelphia -
The Eagles won't be bringing a Super Bowl trophy home to Philadelphia this year, but a group of chess-playing school kids just might capture some hardware and these kids need your help!
When we think about the game of chess, we tend to picture bearded intellectuals facing off inside a stuffy English drawing room. We don't think of 13-year-old inner city kids with names like Karissma, but maybe we ought to.
When the afternoon dismissal bell rings, most of the kids at Mitchell Elementary School head for home where the latest TV shows and video games await.
But for members of the Minor Threats Chess Club, the end of class means intellectual exercise is just beginning. Their devotion to an ancient game of strategy is as simple as black and white!
"Sometimes you've got to think ahead and calculate. Like, if you do this, he's going to do that."
These 2nd through 7th graders have taken to the game like ducks to water winning trophies and admirers among those who thought they knew the limitations of inner city kids.
I spent time discussing chess strategy with Sajjad. He's all of 6 and a half.
Third grade math teacher Jason Bui is the founder and coach of the Minor Threats. He makes sure every move in every game is written down. It's how you learn from defeat.
"When you can analyze what your mistakes are in chess and improve for next time, you can do that ain all subjects in school. You can have that in life decisions," Bui said.
Bui has gone to GoFundMe.com to raise the money needed to get his top players to this year's state tournament in Carlisle, PA and national competitions in Atlanta and Dallas. These kids are good enough to win if they can get to the Big Show.
If you'd like to help these aspiring grand masters experience the thrill and challenge of the big tournaments, check out the fundraiser here.