By Rayda Krell, Scotland School Parent
“You know you can take your mom’s queen,” one of the chess instructors informed my kindergarten son. As I looked at the board I realized I had made a careless move. A nearby third-grader gave him a hint and my son’s eyes lit up as he realized he was going to take my queen. I have never been a good chess player, I know how the pieces move, but I don’t think very strategically. Apparently my kindergartner was already on his way to surpassing my base skills. Next to us, my 4th grade son played a game with the principal, Mr. Mark Solomon. It was a close game, but the principal won. My son looked at me and said, “Mr. Solomon is good!”
On Friday evening, January 11th, Scotland families, about 60 people total, gathered in the cafeteria to play chess. Two instructors, including Jim Santorelli, President of the National Scholastic Chess Foundation, perused the room giving pointers as people played. I learned that I am not supposed to get my rooks out too early in the game and that the main battle should be over control of the middle of the board.
The families playing represented a wide range of ages and abilities. Even the youngest family members joined in. A-3 year-old began his game by systematically moving each of his pawns forward one space. Some parents were just learning how the pieces move, while others had obviously been playing for many years.
Outside it was a rainy night, but inside the school kingdoms were won and lost as families enjoyed a fun evening at the school playing chess.