‘A sport for the mind’: New chess team a big hit at MHS – Yahoo News

Chess

Apr. 30While most students wait to participate in sports after a long school day, Kimora Ske Sheffield spends her afternoons playing chess.

"I just followed some friends during tryouts and I ended up joining because I was apparently good at it," said Sheffield, one of several Meridian High students making history as members of the school's first chess team. "I didn't intend on joining, but it was worth it."

Sheffield, whose first experience with chess was during her eight grade robotics class, said she's a natural at playing the board game.

"It's a sport for your mind," she said. "It really doesn't work your body, but it gives your mind a workout. Chess is not easy."

Outside of the after school practices, Sheffield plays chess on her phone. But she prefers face-to-face competitions.

"On the phone, I play against the computer and the computer is ruthless,"she said. "In person, they will really take it easy on you."

After being part of the chess team in middle school, ninth grader Taylor Gonzales wanted to do the same thing when she reached high school.

"A lot of it is a lot of statistics and thinking ahead, which has always been interesting to me, said Gonzales, who plans to be part of the team next year.

"Most of the chess team are me and my friends,"she said.

Art teacher and chess coach Scott Farmer said he started a team at Northwest Junior High when he first joined the district.

"Before long, it was one of those things where students wanted to participate," he recalled. "I guess you would call it a hot commodity."

Farmer said students had to audition for the team at MHS. Currently the team is made up of six ninth graders, but is open to students in grades 10-12.

"From an educational standpoint, chess teaches critical thinking and problem-solving skills," Farmer said. "But chess is a game too, so it's all about having fun."

Looking ahead, Farmer hopes interest in the team grows.

"I've had a lot of interest even in the regular classroom," he said. "Several of my students are asking me to pull out the chess board to talk about strategies, when I'm supposed to be going over an art lesson."

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'A sport for the mind': New chess team a big hit at MHS - Yahoo News

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