Douglass students excel on chess team - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Douglass students excel on chess team

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(WMC-TV) - Some Memphis City Schools students are showing their chess skills. They attend Douglass Kindergarten through Eight Optional School. A year ago most did not even know how to play chess.

They have got fast hands, and even faster moves The Smart Moves Chess Initiative at Douglass turned a complicated board game into a fun learning experience.

"The pawns are worth one point, the rooks are worth five, the knights are worth three," said fifth grader Shimara Paxton explaining the value of each piece in the game.

Teacher and team coach Jeff Bulington said the students are getting to be quite good at the game.

"Especially judging from where they've started, we've only been playing out here at Douglass since August, so they're moving their way towards the top of the state," said Bulington.

The students already have a wall at school filled with national and local trophies.

Bulington said learning this game also has other advantages. One being that students are doing better in their classes.

"There is an intrinsic motivation to play. They play because they like to play, and the fact that they learn math and reading from it is to them, maybe a sideling, whereas to me it's the main deal," he said.

The sky is the limit for this team, according to Bulington.

The Memphis City Schools Foundation is heading up support for the Smart Moves Chess Initiative at Douglass. Click here to help.

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