By Journal Staff Writer
Four teenagers, from Jones Leadership Academy, who just recently got introduced to the game of chess, did what many in that world would be considered the impossible; they defeated seasoned vets who’ve been playing for many years.
Under the leadership of Warren Woodberry, director of chess, Alveon Gould, eighth grade, Ylisa Crawford, ninth grade, Nia Thomas, eighth grade, and Anthony King, ninth grade, won three, of their four matches against Maumee Valley Country Day School, one of the titans in area chess competition, on Wednesday, November 16, at Jones Leadership Academy, 430 Nebraska Avenue.
Mr. Woodberry explained to The Toledo Journal that, the students on his team just started learning chess, within the last two and three years, while many of the competitors have been playing around 10 years.
“We’re really proud to be in the league and doing as well as we’re doing,” he said.
The high school league consists of eight area schools, with players being as young as the seventh grade, and going to their senior year in high school.
Dr. Romulus Durant, Toledo Public School Superintendent, was present for the meet.
“Woodberry Park has been a huge asset to Jones Leadership Academy,” he said. “Chess has added a whole other dimension to the thought process of our students. In chess, players have to think three, four, and sometimes five moves ahead; that type of thinking conditions a player to look and plan further ahead in their life,” Dr. Durant said.
“You can’t move there; you’re still in check,” Nia Thomas, 13 said to her competitor, on more than one occasion. She has been playing chess for only a year, and was one of the three winners during their matches.
Nia had taken all of her competitor’s pieces with the exception of his king, and bishop. Nia said the reason she didn’t take his bishop was she didn’t want him to try and play to a stalemate, or a draw.
“He was a good player and I was a little nervous. I’m so glad I won,” she said.