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Making the Grade: McNiel Junior High Chess Club

The history of chess spans some 1500 years, but the old classic is the newest popular sport at McNiel Junior High. Eric Jeansonne explains in tonight's making the grade.

An epic battle is taking place at McNiel Junior High. It's a fight between kings, queens, and knights.

But the winner isn't the side with the most arsenal or armor, but rather, the side with the smartest moves.

"My favorite part of chess is when you get to trick the other opponent to actually thinking they won,"
says Yitzhak Ramiruz, McNiel Junior High chess club member.

This is the first year McNiel Junior High has had a chess club and membership is quickly rising.

Amber Godby, Chess Club Sponsor, says, "The very first meeting I was hoping for three and we had eight.
That was a very exciting. And then these last couple of meetings, we've had fourteen."

Despite the fact the club is somewhat new to the students, they are already becoming battle pros.

Dale Easterwood took time to explain the four move, his favorite move in chess. "The king cannot move because if he goes this way.
The bishop can't go this way because all the other pieces are surrounding it. So, he can't go anywhere."

While for some, strategy comes into play. Luke Burkett takes a simpler approach. “I just uhh make it up as I go."

The chess club will compete against other schools in the district. They are already prepping for their competition
against Zundy Junior High

Godby says she is really seeing this chess practice at work in the classroom."Chess really builds critical skill thinking
and problem solving skills and they need that. I mean, since I am a math teacher, those are some of the big skills
that we need in math."

For these students, it's a fun game of strategy and competition.
With the best part being "Winning," says Gabby Garcia, eight grade chess club member.

The increase in interest in McNiel's chess club has led to a shortage of chess boards and pieces.
If you would like to donate chess boards or would like to volunteer to train students or chaperone competitions.
Contact McNiel Junior High. Their information is on the link below.

http://www.wfisd.net/Domain/758

Eric Jeansonne KFDX 3 News

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