Frenship Middle School teaches chess to students

Reagan Stuart (left) is instructed during his game of chess against Callen Stewart Monday at Frenship Middle School. (Photo by Luke Backus)

Some Frenship Middle School students are becoming acquainted with a series of new characters during their noon hour and after school, including kings, queens, rooks, knights, bishops and several pawns.

The FMS Chess Club has 24 members. They play and eat during lunch some days, and meet each Monday after school to learn the game of chess.

For about 16 years, FMS students have been learning to play chess, Counselor Judy Bryant said. Often the students have never played chess before, she said.

“Many of them, the kids learn from each other. Chess is not an easy game,” she said. “Lots of them learn to play because of their brothers, or in some cases, sisters.”

Students are eager to take the game home.

“At Christmas time, they will ask for a chessboard because they want to play their dads or their grandfathers. They’re pretty good by then. Chess you can play all your life,” Bryant said.

Bryant said the majority of the students playing chess are male, with only two girls on the team.

But she said all students learn from the game.

“There are things you learn with chess. You learn you don’t win everything in life. We have manners with it. We don’t make noises. We shake hands before and at the end,” Bryant said. “This is a game that’s very good for them.”

Bryant said her role with the students playing chess is to set up tournaments and to set up the lunch time games. The Chess Club sponsor is Tom Messerschmidt, an art teacher at FMS.

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