Tayshawn Smith
Tayshawn Smith

Winners . . . that applies to the all the kids who participated in Saturday’s chess tournament at Siloah Lutheran School. The top two teams were Evangel Chess Club (Coach Lee) and the Banner Bishops (Coach Jackson). Jackson noted that he was very proud of his team and their accomplishments and said usually 8 to 10 of his 27 member chess team participate in tournaments.

Lee stated that his team has been around for “the last 7 or 8 years” and was equally enthusiastic about his team’s performance.

Second place single player, 8-year-old Tayshawn Smith was very excited to receive another medal and noted that he has “lots of medals and trophies” in his room. Principal Phil Leyrer sat down to tell me that chess has made some major changes in Tayshawn’s behavior. Tayshawn’s grandmother has shared with Leyrer “that school was calling me everyday” prior to Tayshawn’s starting chess last year. She attributes chess to making him more focused, calmer, and able to concentrate much more than before he stated learning the game. Tayshawn was wearing a t-shirt on this day that read, “Whatever it is, I didn’t do it” and Leyrer joked that before chess that saying did apply to Tayshawn.

You can only be impressed to see about a hundred children (from grade school through high school) start each match with a handshake, quietly concentrate on their next move (when was the last time you heard a hundred kids being nearly silent?), raise their hands and patiently wait for a coach to answer questions and then silently leave the competition hall when their game was over.

It is obvious that chess teaches more than just a game of skill, but also the manners and concentration required to be a true winner.

Follow this link for tournament results.

https://www.wisconsinscholasticchess.org/websource/web/results/Siloah Results.pdf