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Chess Grandmaster teaches game to Henrico students

Posted at 8:21 PM, Jul 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-29 07:33:42-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- One of the best chess players in the world spent Tuesday teaching the game to some of the youngest students at the Collegiate School.

Maurice Ashley is the first African-American Chess Grandmaster. He has spent time with a Richmond psychologist to make a curriculum that will teach kids the 1500-year-old game.

The curriculum created has been used in Richmond City Schools as a part of a $1 million grant from the Department of Education looking at the relationship between playing chess and executive functions.

Ashley has made it his life's work to promote the benefits of chess for promoting life and cognitive skills to students all over the world. He said chess was much more than a board game.

“Chess is a fantastic game because it teaches so many skills you can use not only in school, but in life. It teaches patience, focus, concentration, dedication, planning, and battles low self-esteem,” Ashley said.

Ashley said before the lessons began, the kids couldn't stay in their seats for long, but after some lessons the kids are focused and calm.