Chess4Life Bothell Celebrates Grand Opening

Chess4Life is pleased to announce that Chess4Life Bothell has opened to serve the northern area with Premium Center Classes, Friday Night Quads, summer camps, and more! The new center, which is hosted by Best in Class Education of Bothell, celebrated its grand opening on March 28th, but the grand opening special of a free chess assessment for new students is still available! Simply fill out the assessment request form and select Bothell to redeem your free chess assessment.

Thank you to Best in Class Education Bothell for sharing space to make this possible!

Space Still Available in Chess4Life Nationals Team
If you would like your child to learn great teamwork, sportsmanship, perseverance, while having an incredible experience of personal mentorship and encouragement, this can be a life-changing event for your child of ANY skill level, whether in the championship section vying for the national title or competing in one of the rating restricted or even unrated/first-time player sections!

With a coaching team headed up by Chess4Life Founder and National Master Elliott Neff, you are invited to join the long-standing tradition of excellence and learning life through the National Championships Event.

Who is eligible: Any student Grades Pre-K through 6th grade, all skill levels welcome!

Dates: May 9-11 Location: Dallas, TX

NOTE: VERY limited space – if interested, join the team as soon as possible as we have a limited number of seats available and several spots are already taken (click here for more info). For more information, please reply as soon as possible. For those who join the team, we will be sending additional training information and recommendations to be best prepared – in addition to some special training times for team members ONLY!

(SPECIAL NOTE: For students interested in attending the National High School Championships, which is open to grades K-12, held April 4-6 in San Diego, please contact [email protected]. Chess4Life is considering sending a coach if there is enough interest.)

Peter Kirk Elementary: Developing On and Off the Chessboard

Personal development has flourished in the chess club at Peter Kirk Elementary school. Since the Spring of 2013, chess students at Peter Kirk have not only learned the concept of development as it applies to chess, but more importantly have learned what it means to develop as individuals through collective participation in an academic activity.

The goal of Chess4Life coaches is to facilitate this learning in its entirety. Coaches have been able to accomplish this by tailoring lesson plans and forming groups that better promote learning for each individual student. During the fall and winter sessions of 2014, Patrick (head coach) and Winston (assistant coach) instructed their own groups of students. Winston’s group learned about chess fundamentals such as capturing, promotion, check, checkmate, castling, pawn shields, and development. Patrick’s group spent more time during lessons engaging in game analysis and application of fundamentals.

As the students work towards chess mastery, which might ordinarily be regarded as an individual pursuit, the chess club has evolved into a learning environment that transcends the chess board. Through experience, students have become motivated to share what they have learned with others. Coach Winston said, “One of the life skills that comes to mind when thinking about this group is teamwork. I was impressed by each student’s willingness to work together in order to learn. I often witnessed students helping each other out during lessons and chess games.”

Students have also demonstrated an unwavering desire to be challenged, both in lessons and competition. These students have exemplified teamwork and determination. It is exciting to imagine what the students of Peter Kirk Elementary will accomplish in the future!

Meet Melanie Zhang, Chess4Life’s March Featured Student

Ten year old Melanie Zhang came to Chess4Life three years ago, after living in China for a year. She has been a constant presence in the Enrichment Program since then, and everyone in the Bellevue center knows her for her quiet demeanor, hard work ethic, and passion for art.

Melanie says that she has been an artist all of her life, since she was three. “I like drawing cats,” she said,” but my favorite painting I ever made was of trees in autumn.” Her latest project has been a series of trading cards in the Bellevue Enrichment center, a project she leads and cooperates with several other enrichment students on. Melanie’s love for art extends into her future career goals, as well. “Being an architect would be fun,” she said, expressing excitement at the chance to use her drawing and math skills in a constructive, meaningful way.

When she isn’t drawing, studying, or playing chess, Melanie can always be found with a book in hand. “I like the Warriors and Fablehaven series,” she said, “and I have the reading level of a twelfth grader!” The opportunity to read new stories is one of Melanie’s favorite parts of school and the Enrichment program. Her instructors all commented on how she always goes far beyond her required half hour of reading after completing her homework and chess!

Liz Gaspar, Director of Enrichment Curriculum, said that “Melanie is a very thoughtful, careful student who does beautiful work. She always treats other students nicely, and she’s a talented chess player. She demands so much of herself!” Liz also mentioned Melanie”s recent acceptance into International School in Bellevue. Melanie looks forward to attending the school and seeing what exciting new programs await her!

Instructors also complimented Melanie’s quick progress in chess. “She’s a great chess player,” said Liz, “she’s been moving up very fast!” Though she started a pawn like most Chess4Life students, Melanie is now a rook who works hard to improve her game. “Playing chess always makes me hungry,” Melanie cheerfully explained, “I always eat a big dinner after every chess class!”

In her time at Chess4life, Melanie has grown into the role of a model student, strong chess player, talented artist, and leader amongst her friends. On the board, she is an ambitious player who loves learning from each game, and in the classroom she is an excellent role model for other students to follow. Her time with us is far from over though, and we can’t wait to see what she achieves next!

White to Checkmate in Two – March Chess Puzzle

Can you find a white checkmate in two turns? Try playing both sides, or have an opponent play black for you!

Answer: Ne6, Bxe6, Bh6#

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