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Chess Grandmaster Plays 25 Local Chess Players Simultaneously

By: Ruth Morton Email
By: Ruth Morton Email

December 2, 2013

A rare event for local chess players also worked to attract women and kids to the game.

The Playing Aces Chess organization and the Charlottesville Chess Club hosted a chess match with star power on Monday night.

Chess grandmaster Jesse Kraai read from from his newly published novel. Kraai's book, Lisa, a Chess Novel, promotes women and kids playing chess.

"The idea behind Lisa is to get more girls involved in chess -- get more kids involved in chess. Chess has a natural connection to S.T.E.M., Science Technology Engineering and Math," said Nathan Szejniuk, the founder of the Playing Aces Chess organization.

Kraai then played 25 members of the Charlottesville and University of Virginia chess clubs at the same time.

Grandmasters are among the world's elite in chess, a centuries-old game that the group can gives us skills for our lives today.

"In our rushing around world today, sometimes people have to go back and they have to redo work or they have to redo something. Had they slowed down a minute, thought about it, and had some planning, taken into consideration different options and different moves, pehaps the moves that they made that caused the mistake would have been better served by learning the patience that chess provides and the depth of thought. 'Cause in our world today, it's about our ability to think critically and think creatively and chess provides both of those," said Szejniuk.

The event took place at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Charlottesville.

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