FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Chess and choices. A man who lost his son 11 years ago is helping young players think beyond the board. “If you can get them when they’re young it seems to be the best method to try to change the path they take,” said Brian Walker, Founder of the Take a Stan Chess Club.
Walker named the club after his son Stanford who was shot two days before he turned 21 years old. “He was a good kid who made bad choices,” said Walker. “I lost him in 2010. He was an avid chess player. Going through the grieving process, I wanted to do something to try to save another kid. Chess can help do that.”
Nine year old Christian Santos is one of the young chess players under Walker’s tutelage. The Irwin Elementary School student is one of about a dozen children ages 6 to 12 who are members of Take A Stan. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne agreed to open the door and allow the chess club to set up shop on site once a week so kids could learn the art of the game and more. “It helps you concentrate,” said Walker.
Walker said he wants kids like Chris to understand that in a game of kings, queens, bishops and knights, they don’t want to be pawns who move to quickly. “If your mind is everywhere your opponent will take advantage of you,” said Walker. “In life if your mind is everywhere you can’t focus on what you’re trying to do. Learn how to focus now at an early age through this game and that’s nothing but a benefit for you later on in life.”
“Before Chess Club I could say I was an A and B student,” said Chris. “After Chess Club, I am mainly an A student. It helps me focus.”
“That’s what I want to get these kids, refocused,” said Walker. “And let them know that you have to think before you react to anything and chess will help them get to that point.”
Take a Stan Chess Club meets once a week on Thursdays. Call Brian Walker at 260-443-1147 for more information.