BY JURRY TAALIB-DEEN
Journal Staff Writer

In an effort to help highlight, and encourage other schools to adopt the success of the Woodberry Park Chess Club, located inside Jones at Gunkel Park School, 430 Nebraska Ave, Wade Kapszukiewicz, Toledo Mayor, challenged Alvion Gould, ninth grade student at Jones, and one of the best players in Toledo, to a game of chess, on Tuesday, March 6.

Warren Woodberry, left, introduces some of Toledo’s leaders to players in the chess club. George Kral, Chief of Toledo Police Department, Helene Sheets, director of University Relations at Lourdes University, Jeannie Hylant, of the Hylant Group, who purchased chess boards for the club, and Wade Kapszukiewicz, Toledo Mayor.

Besides members of the chess club, and a few school administrators being present, George Kral, Chief of the Toledo Police Department, Jeannie Hylant, of the Hylant Group, who purchased chess boards for the club, and Helene Sheets, director of University Relations, at Lourdes University, all attended the unique match.

Mayor Kapszukiewicz admitted, prior to the start of the game, that he wasn’t the best player, but would give his best effort.

Both he and Alvion shook hands before the start. Alvion made the first move of the game by moving his pawn, the strategically, weakest piece on the board, two space forward. Mayor Kapszukiewicz responded by moving one of his pawns.

Then Alvion moved his Bishop, a piece that can cover great distances in the game, but only diagonally.

“I think you’re getting ready to do that thing with your Bishop, and Queen that ends the game quickly,” Mayor Kapszukiewicz jokingly said to Alvion. With a few counter moves, Mayor Kapszukiewicz was able to thwart the attack that Alvion attempted to end the game in a matter of four moves.

Their match lasted approximately 15 minutes, with Alvion taking more of Mayor Kapszukiewicz strategically important pieces.

“There really should be a mercy rule in chess,” Mayor Kapszukiewicz jokingly said after losing another important piece to his opponent.

When the game finally ended, with Alvion being the victor, both he and Mayor Kapszukiewicz shook hands again, congratulating one another for a well-played game.

“If you’re thinking like a chess player,” Mayor Kapszukiewicz told everyone, “Nine times out of 10 you’ll succeed in life. In chess, you have to look three and four moves ahead, and prepare yourself for possible counter moves from your opponent,” he said.

Warren Woodberry, standing left, gives Mayor Kapszukiewicz a few pointers in his match against Alvion Gould.

“I think he did a good job,” Alvion told The Toledo Journal after the match. “I was a little nervous. The Mayor is a decent player, and has a good personality,” he added.

Warren Woodberry, director of Woodberry Park Chess Club said, “Alvion is one of the best in Toledo. I remember when I could beat him, but now he always wins.”

Ms. Hylant said, “This is really a good program, Mr. Woodberry has here at the school. This is one of the reasons we’ve purchased chess boards for the club; it’s an excellent program that teaches children how to think strategically.”

1 COMMENT

  1. With all due respect to Alvion (and the article), he is not among the top players in Toledo (my guess is that he is probably in the bottom 20%). I am sure the article only meant to focus on scholastic players though. The problem is that he is outside the top 20 scholastic players when you combine the high school and K-8 players. He is probably even lower if USCF ratings are used. So to say “among the top” is a bit misguided at best. However, I am sure with some work that he could become one of the top scholastic players in the area. He has plenty of time to do so and appears to be very talented.

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