McPherson Students Learn Chess

Brian Houl and Efrain Chopin

At McPherson Magnet School, all elementary grades (kindergarten through 5th grade) can join the after school chess club from 2:05-3:05 pm every Friday. In the chess club, they start with the basics and they learn many moves. After the lesson, they play. They have a chess competition between each student to see which chess club student is the best and the top four students get awards. The rest get little chess pieces or toys.

We first interviewed kids in the chess class about what their favorite chess piece is and why. Here is what they said.

Colin Crespi said, “My favorite piece is the pawn because it can turn into queens and there can be nine queens.”

Rodrigo Duarte said, “The queen because it can move everywhere except for the knight.” We also asked him what his second favorite piece was and he said “The pawn.”

Paulo said, “My favorite piece is the queen because it can move almost anywhere on the board.”

Lyric Salas said, “In chess its the queen because it can go everywhere and diagonal and sideways and go straight. It’s like the best piece ever.”

We then asked them why they like chess club and what their favorite part about is and they said this. Paulo said, “Yeah, I really do because I have been experiencing it for four seasons and really the teachers are nice so yeah it’s great.”

Colin Crespi said, “Well my favorite part about chess class is that we get to play chess after we learn about it.”

Lyric Salas said, “Yeah, well my dad signed me up for chess it’s pretty good I like it because you can verse people.  You get to learn about new stuff that you didn’t know about chess and you get to know better.”

These kids learn many important and valuable skills in chess which is a game of strategy. They learn how to think before they move in chess because chess is a high skill game and takes a lot of practice to get good at it. These skills can be used in real life and in school and it enhances the students’ knowledge and movement because in chess every move counts. They also get to play other players in competitions and the only way to be the very best is to practice. They are learning all of these skills just by playing a fun game against other people in the chess class. For more information about how to get in on the fun go to