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New club involves old game

March 7, 2018
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

A new club has formed at Boardman Glenwood Junior High School. Students are flocking to the BGJHS Chess Club and are enjoying the break from the world of electronic devices.

The new chess club formed out of the regular curriculum. As part of the seventh grade social studies classes, students are introduced to the game that was a big part of the Medieval period. Social Studies teacher Tom Basista said the game has not changed in over 500 years and was used by knights to improve their thinking skills when it came to predicting their opponent's next move.

"Students enjoy learning that knights of the time period were taught chess as part of their training," Basista said.

Article Photos

Photo Special to the Town Crier
Students at Boardman Glenwood Junior High School have formed a new club that is growing in popularity. The BGJHS Chess Club is up and running and pictured are some of its members. In front row are Nate West, Spencer Fernholz, Frankie Bartolic, and Logan Koch. In middle row are: Mohammad Abbadi, Anthony DeMain, Jaylen Smith, Seth Cervello, Julia Basista, Anam Muswar, Abby Russo, Destina Ortiz, and Kennedy Picard. In back row are: Alex Micco, Austin Ward, Jac Cordon, Liam Parker, Aliza Khan, Bing Bing Yang, and Shahad Abudi.

Basista along with fellow social studies teachers Carlo Cordon, Ian Head and Sherri Mangapora use chess as part of the study of that era, but after that study ended, the teachers found their students were continuing to play chess on their own. The four teachers came together and decided to help start a chess club in the school.

"We have about 45 kids who come and go depending on their availability in the mornings before school," said Basista. "We meet every other Thursday. Kids can join at any time."

He said the club is open to any seventh or eighth grader. At the present time he said a lot of Mahoning County schools have adopted chess as part of the curriculum because of the critical thinking skills and math connections involved. At present Boardman is the only known local school to form a club.

"I am not aware of other schools, but I know Boardman High School has a Chess Club," he said. "So I would think other area high schools do as well."

He said at present, the club is looking at seventh grade tournaments as part of the Middle Ages Unit. He said there is a possibility of a Boardman Glenwood tournament for all the members of the club, but as for outside the district, nothing is on the planning board right now.

"We are hoping to find out about local tournaments," Basista said.

As for the kids in the club, Basista said the purpose of the club goes much further.

"The teachers feel like it is a great opportunity for students unplug from their devices and to connect with parents, grandparents, and other family members who know the game of chess and teach it to their children."



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