David Shifren carries a chess set in his car.
Its more than a childhood game that his late father Leonard, who died in October, taught him to play.
Chess puts everyone on an utterly equal playing field, said Shifren, a Pittsburgh Police Community Resource Officer for Zone 4 in Squirrel Hill, on Tuesday after a chess match in Market Square. It doesnt matter if you are big or small, old or young, male or female. Your race or ethnicity doesnt matter when you sit down at a chess board.
Your skill improves with time. There is no chance involved. Its great for kids because it helps them develop thinking skills and problem-solving skills. They learn things off the board such as patience and good sportsmanship and gracious winning. So all in all, its a good win.
He and officers like him are using the chess board as a tool for community engagement.
On Tuesdays at noon in Market Square at least through the summer, officers will be available to play chess with the people they serve.
Chess is a great way to sit down and engage with another person, said Pittsburgh Police Sgt. Tiffany Kline-Costa, who heads the Community Engagement Office. It opens conversations.
On a recent community walk in Market Square police have been visiting neighborhoods, interacting with residents and businesses to promote a sense of security an officer noticed people playing chess.
Shifren, who has been playing chess since age 12, went to his car, pulled out a chess set and started playing.
It was well received, so the police decided to start the weekly games on Tuesday afternoons (weather permitting).
Public safety is about more than police on patrol and calling 911, said Kline-Costa. Its about working together with residents and community leaders.
Kline-Costa lost a game to Phillip of McKees Rocks (who asked to be identified by first name only). Recently released from prison, Phillip said that hes turned his life around and that he sees police as human beings.
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop | Tribune-Review
Pittsburgh Police Sgt. Tiffany Kline-Costa, who heads the polices Community Engagement Office, plays chess on April 20 in Market Square, Downtown Pittsburgh.
Annie Rudeck of West View was playing chess with a friend.
Chess is entertaining, she said. Market Square is a beautiful spot to sit and play this game.
Chess became the game of choice for Shifren when a previous commander asked officers to work with city kids in a coaching experience.
Shifren, a Brooklyn native, taught kids chess when working in Hoboken, N.J.
He started giving lessons at the Hazelwood library five years ago. The program has grown to the Pittsburgh Police Junior Chess Club.
The kids in this area might not have the resources other kids have, Shifren said. When you teach chess, you learn not to completely outplay the kids, and you also dont let them win easily. Its somewhere in the middle.
He said its a game where you try to anticipate what your opponent is going to do. He said chess can teach children to think before they move a skill they can use in life, too.
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop | Tribune-Review
A chess game sits on a table in Market Square in Downtown Pittsburgh on April 20.
Shifren came to the University of Pittsburgh in 1989 for a masters degree in creative writing. Among his writing projects was ghost-writing stories for the Hardy Boys books. One of his ideas was to pen a piece set in a police academy. As research, he spent time in the academy and was inspired, at age 44, to become a cop.
He will be part of a community writing program for kids launching in June.
Former Steeler Maurkice Pouncey, who retired in February, donated $20,000 for community engagement activities and the Steelers matched the amount, Shifren said. Some of the money will be spent on chess games.
We want citizens to see us as citizens, too, Shifren said. I am an ordinary player when I am sitting across from someone.
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 724-853-5062, email@example.com or via Twitter .
Categories:Downtown Pittsburgh | Lifestyles | Local | More Lifestyles | Pittsburgh | Top Stories
Continue reading here:
- Like in chess, protecting the King key for No. 6 Aggies in season opener - TexAgs - September 4th, 2021
- Trinidad and Tobago fail to advance to Online Chess Olympiad Division II - TT Newsday - September 4th, 2021
- If You'd Like to Learn How to Play Chess May I Suggest Doing It With a T-Rex via The Noble Collection's Jurassic Park Set? - The Mary Sue - August 23rd, 2021
- Ending years of feud, AICF and Chess Association of India announce merger - The Indian Express - August 23rd, 2021
- The 8 Best Movie-Themed Chess Sets to Buy Online - IndieWire - August 23rd, 2021
- Chess May be Banned in Afghanistan - World Chess - August 23rd, 2021
- Coach Of The Month: IM Kostya Kavutskiy - Chess.com - August 23rd, 2021
- The Guildford Chess Club celebrates its 125th anniversary! - Chessbase News - August 23rd, 2021
- Chess, PHILSPADA athletes to be honored in 27th SKC awards - Mindanao Times - August 23rd, 2021
- Harshit Raja, Indias 69th Chess Grandmaster - Gulte - August 9th, 2021
- Nas enjoys a game of chess in Rare visual - REVOLT TV - August 9th, 2021
- Star Trek 3D chess and more out-of-this-world ways to celebrate International Chess Day - ZDNet - July 25th, 2021
- How the game of Chess has helped mold Oregon's Kayvon Thibodeaux - NBC Sports - July 25th, 2021
- Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand Goes Down To Anish Giri In Croatia Grand Chess Tour - Outlook India - July 10th, 2021
- The Real Queens Gambit: Ashley Priores Nonprofit Aims To Give Women An Edge In The Male-Dominated World Of Chess - Forbes - July 10th, 2021
- Of Anand, simultaneous chess and the cheating controversy - The Hindu - June 28th, 2021
- Chess in The Parks held at Myrtle Park in Indian Orchard - WWLP.com - June 28th, 2021
- The Londoner Inviting a Guy Over to Play Chess - The Cut - June 28th, 2021
- Carol Jarecki: From chess mom to one of the game's greatest referees - Washington Times - June 28th, 2021
- NBA Playoffs 2021: The chess match between Trae Young and the Milwaukee Bucks' defence is only beginning - NBA CA - June 28th, 2021
- Chess Corner: Sitting on the 7th rank - Muskogee Daily Phoenix - June 11th, 2021
- Joe Burrow is so competitive he's trash talking teammates about...chess - Bengals Wire - June 11th, 2021
- PhosAgro Renews Strategic Partnership Agreements with FIDE and the Russian Chess Federation - PRNewswire - June 11th, 2021
- Nuclear powers must stop playing nuclear chess and atomic roulette - The Mail & Guardian - Mail and Guardian - June 11th, 2021
- Joe Burrow has Been Talking Crap About Chess to a Key Offensive Target - Sportscasting - June 11th, 2021
- Aamir Khan will face the chess with chess champion Viswanathan Anand - asume tech - June 11th, 2021
- 2021 Scholar-Chessplayer Award Winners Announced | US Chess.org - uschess.org - uschess.org - June 11th, 2021
- New tables give you the opportunity to play chess/checkers at two EC parks - WQOW TV News 18 - May 30th, 2021
- A Chess Game: Everyone will win or lose after the NATO summit | Daily Sabah - Daily Sabah - May 30th, 2021
- Xiong Wins May 25 Titled Tuesday - Chess.com - May 30th, 2021
- Grandmaster Judit Polgar to Appear in US Chess Women Girls Club - uschess.org - May 30th, 2021
- Chess event promotes solidarity between Jews and Arabs - The Jerusalem Post - May 30th, 2021
- Taylor Jenkins and Quin Snyder are in a NBA playoffs 'chess match' that's years in the making | Giannotto - Commercial Appeal - May 30th, 2021
- Mind games: Two intellectuals and chess on a football pitch - The Indian Express - May 30th, 2021
- Theatre review: Chess the Musical - InDaily - May 30th, 2021
- 10-Year-Old Chess Prodigy Who Overcame Homelessness Named National Chess Master - NewsOne - May 18th, 2021
- Top chess player in the world visits Indianapolis - WTHR - May 18th, 2021
- 10-year-old boy who once lived in a homeless shelter achieves remarkable title: chess master - USA TODAY - May 18th, 2021
- Ventura sweeps National Youth and Schools Online Chess Tourney - PhilBoxing.com - May 18th, 2021
- First Ever Chess-Focused Sports Agency Launched - World Chess - May 18th, 2021
- More than a game: How Cook County is using chess to prepare inmates for life on the outside - Daily Herald - May 18th, 2021
- The Queens Gambit Star Anya Taylor-Joy: Its Not About Chess, Its About Loneliness And The Price Of Genius Contenders TV - Deadline - May 18th, 2021
- Chess Market Is Expected To Expand At An Impressive Rate By 2027 KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper - KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper - May 18th, 2021
- Announcing The Botez Bullet Invitational On May 5 - Chess.com - May 5th, 2021
- New In Chess Classic: Carlsen Strikes - Chess.com - May 5th, 2021
- Jazz Cartier on His Chess Docuseries With Diddy, Skincare Line, and Next LP - Complex - May 5th, 2021
- Cover Stories with Chess Life #36: Taylor Kingston - uschess.org - May 5th, 2021
- Meet Tani Adewumi: The 10-year-old Nigerian refugee who became a national chess master | NewsChannel 3-12 - KEYT - May 5th, 2021
- Are the Rams trying to play chess with NFL Draft pick Tutu Atwell? - With the First Pick - May 5th, 2021
- The Chess Match Ahead in the East - Japers' Rink - May 5th, 2021
- Mother tongue and chess is there a connection? - Chessbase News - May 5th, 2021
- Great Moments in Chess: Kasparov Seizes the Crown - chess24 - May 5th, 2021
- 'A sport for the mind': New chess team a big hit at MHS - Yahoo News - May 5th, 2021
- All India Chess Federation launches initiative to help chess community fight COVID-19 - Firstpost - May 5th, 2021
- Aagaard on the Candidates - Round 9 | US Chess.org - uschess.org - April 21st, 2021
- What America Taught The World About Chess - Chess.com - April 21st, 2021
- The real story of women in chess - The Independent - April 21st, 2021
- Cops in Paraguay discover 20k worth of high purity cocaine bound for Ireland inside chess set... - The Irish Sun - April 21st, 2021
- Mike Tyson heads to Arnold Schwarzeneggers mansion for game of chess and golf along with UFC icon Henry C... - The Sun - April 21st, 2021
- Classic games like chess and Sudoku are now easier to play on iPhones and iPads - TechRadar - April 5th, 2021
- Clash Mini: Everything we know about Supercell's upcoming auto chess game - Pocket Gamer - April 5th, 2021
- Bucs decision to bring back Godwin and Barrett was a chess game - Bucs Nation - April 5th, 2021
- Artemiev Swindles Nakamura To Win Another Titled Tuesday - Chess.com - March 9th, 2021
- Chess lovers practice the art of the checkmate - KNBN NewsCenter1 - Newscenter1.tv - March 9th, 2021
- Play Chess With Agadmator, Nemo, Cramling, Canty, And More - Chess.com - March 9th, 2021
- Turkish chess group head works to inspire young girls - Anadolu Agency - March 9th, 2021
- Chess Player Koneru Humpy Is The BBC Indian Sportswoman Of The Year - Femina - March 9th, 2021
- He loves the chess aspect: is Rooney made to measure as a manager? - The Guardian - March 9th, 2021
- Battle of the Minds: 4 legends compete in chess and poker - chess24 - March 9th, 2021
- Wednesday Workout: Leveling Up Through the US Chess Rapids - uschess.org - March 9th, 2021
- John Leguizamo on Critical Thinking [VIDEO] | US Chess.org - uschess.org - February 20th, 2021
- Maharashtra Chess Association back as a governing body after 4 years - The Bridge - February 20th, 2021
- Chess and Artificial Intelligence (1) - Chessbase News - February 17th, 2021
- Rockford Chess Club Gets Revived Thanks to ' The Queen's Gambit' - q985online.com - February 17th, 2021
- Aaron Chess, District 1 council candidate, wants to bring hope back to the district - CIProud.com - February 17th, 2021
- Knight's Retreat Review - Chess but not! - TheXboxHub - February 17th, 2021
- Smashing Stereotypes - Marissa Saroca to play The Arbiter in CHESS THE MUSICAL | News - Aussie Theatre - February 17th, 2021
- Garry Kasparov at IMPROVATE Cybersecurity Conference is talking about Chess, IA and The Queen's Gambit - Yahoo Finance - February 17th, 2021
- Become a chess expert with these discounted grandmaster taught training bundles | TheHill - The Hill - February 15th, 2021
- When The Prison Banned Board Games, We Played Chess In Our Minds - The Marshall Project - February 15th, 2021