In the world of chess which encompasses journalism, tournaments, matches, and bios of the famous and not so famous devotees that attract enthusiasts through the written word or over the internet which, in the broadest sense, makes it an international language and community that share in the joy of this ancient and widely played game.
One such devotee is today’s feature star, Richard Pointe, who is a scholastic director for the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis, just recently returning to the Singuefield Cup action after addressing 300 student teachers at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Richard says it was a great opportunity to talk about the value of chess for kids. One of his messages: “Chess is so powerful that you can interest even the troublemakers.” It was all in a busy day’s work. In just two years, the club school outreach grew from 40 to 150 programs in a range of schools from private academies to orphanages. We see the most advantaged and least advantaged kids come out to share the joys of chess.
A proud native St. Louisan, Richard has a master of arts in Russian politics and studied for his doctorate, spending 2003 in St. Petersburg which has a rich history of chess. My Russian studies and chess went together. Now he finds working with school children an unexpected reward. “I’m lucky to have chess around me all the time. But it is not just about the chess. It’s about the values every kid can learn.”
The State of New York has a number of regional schools taking part in the Chess in the Schools Program as do other states and or localities.