Amarillo host chess tournament for area players

It's a game that builds intelligence and focus and Saturday chess players from Lubbock to Amarillo came to Ascension Academy to compete in a tournament.

It's an intense game that requires the player to think with his/her head and not with their hands.

Chess, a game with a variety of pieces that move in certain direction advancing further down the board for one purpose.

"The object of the game is to attack the opposing king in such a way that he cannot get away and that is the end of the game. That is check mate. If you can attack your opponent's king and he cannot get away," said Jerry Huntington Amarillo Chess Club.

This winning move has many people hooked to the game. Huntington says that back in the early 70's there was big surge in the number of chess players and tournaments.

"It started off a little slow, I had about five students to begin with," said Tim Doty Communities in Schools South Plains. "But once we started going to tournaments and going to a tournament brings excitement back to the school, now I have about 80/90 maybe more students at Dumbar that I get to play chess with every day."

Though the competition continues to grow, this is not the only reason these leaders continue to share their knowledge.

"The fact that kids get to learn more about chess, they learn more about taking responsibility, there's a lot of deductive reasoning, figuring things out over the chess board. It's been proven in all kinds of research," said Huntington.

A chess game itself may be limited to the moves on a board but the values of the game can be used in everyday life.

"It actually taught me to slow down and think. I was kind of like that in math class, I'd try to be finished, try to be the first to finish in class and if you can apply that principle of chess, if you move before you think about it, you often screw up," said Robert Mitchell Estacado Chess Player. "And it's the same principle in life. It pretty much taught me to just slow down and think about stuff."

Studies have shown that chess players do better in school and in any critical thinking situation

"To be thinking as many moves ahead as you possibly can in chess, that can only benefit every aspect of a person's life," said Doty.