Each year, for more than 20 years, students from every grade level gather at North High School for the Minneapolis Public Schools annual chess tournament. Here, it doesn't matter whether students are just learning the game, or competing as part of the many chess clubs across the district.
Each kindergarten through 12th grade competitor is learning to pace themselves, think ahead, and problem solve. The K-3rd grade group is often the largest. Organizers believe that's because, at this age, kids don't yet worry about what others think.
Clubs are constantly working to recruit more girls, as well as high school and middle school players.
7th grader Tiger Workau from Seward Middle School was apparently the one to beat Saturday. At 12 years old, this is his 24th chess tournament, including nationals in Dallas last year.
Win or lose, the life lessons and critical thinking skills learned on this board game can't be beat.