By Terri Ferguson

Delta Democrat Times Newspaper
Greenville, Mississippi

September 2, 2007

Terri Ferguson, Photographer, Greenville, MS
David Fisher (front, left) and Ron'ald Neoma Myers square off
as the final two competitors in a chess tournament Saturday that
became part of the annual Mississippi Jazz & Heritage Festival.
Fisher won the event.

(Greenville, MS) – Chess enthusiasts believe the value of the game of strategy is not in winning or losing, but in learning how to exercise the mind. That belief prompted local chess players to try to develop an appreciation of the game among young people in Greenville and Washington County.

Eight chess players, from the ages of 10 through 15, participated Saturday in the first chess tournament in conjunction with the 12th annual Mississippi Jazz & Heritage Festival.

Michael Williams helped coordinate the event.

“It's something we're trying to introduce into the community,” he said. “We're looking to do this on a regular basis. We'd like to have chess lessons for children and for adults.”

Williams, 49, began playing chess in 1979 and has continued off and on through the years. Like other chess enthusiasts, he sees it as more than a game. He said it's a tool for helping develop young minds.

“It teaches what may be considered critical thinking skills,” Williams said. “It's a game of strategy and tactics. It teaches patience, calmness, insight. Children learn to look at a situation before making a decision. This is something you can take to everything in life. Chess is just one more avenue of trying to develop insight. Before you make a move, you analyze the consequences. That insight enables you to make the best choice.”

Williams said he hopes more people will become interested in playing chess.

“We want to establish it to where we are at least playing and competing on a regular basis,” he said.

David Fisher, 12, won first place among the eight competitors Saturday while Ron'ald Neoma M. Myers, 15, finished second.


Return to the Home Page