Teaching chess to keep kids safe

Inquirer staff writer Bob Moran reports:

Several tables at the Liacouras Center were the scene of multiple chess games, part of the Checkmate Violence program sponsored by the After School Activities Partnership.That program was set up to keep teenagers off the street and out of danger in the afternoons and evenings.

Chess tutoring at the Liacouras Center on the Martin Luther King Day of Service. (Bob Moran/staff photo)

The table of chess players was part of the Martin Luther King Day of Service.

One volunteer carefully considering a chess board was Brian Motley, 44, who works with EducationWorks, a non-profit that provides a variety of after school programs.

Motley said he started playing chess 14 years ago. “It was a good medium to learn strategy, to develop my planning skills, and be more self-critical.”

Today, he was sharing his skills with David Baker, 11, who said he had been playing chess for three years.

“I like to watch people come together and help each other,” said the student at the Woodrow Wilson Middle School on Cottman Avenue in the Northeast.

Baker said he was eagerly looking forward to tomorrow, when the school is allowing students to watch Obama’s inauguration.

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