Chess Event Hopes to Bridge Barriers

Children compete at the Tai Lam chess competition in Silver Spring in 2009.

Children compete at the Tai Lam chess competition in Silver Spring in 2009.

In November 2008, the Silver Spring and Takoma Park communities were shocked by the murder of Tai Lam, a Montgomery Blair High School freshman gunned down on a bus by a gang.

But from tragedy came hope.

Fernando Moreno, Lam’s chess teacher, and Sen. Jamie Raskin, who’s son was a friend of Lam’s, launched a “chess movement” in Lam’s honor to foster positive dynamics among the young people of Montgomery County in 2009 called “All the Right Moves.”

“Unfortunately Tai did not have that chance because of Violence,” said Moreno, a counselor at Broad Acres Elementary School. “I would like people to learn from this tragic event and be available to make better choices at the chess board and in their lives.”

“All the Right Moves” is holding an open play chess session with Sen. Raskin from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 23 at the Silver Spring Civic Center. There will be local chess experts on hand to play and coach.

The group currently has about 80 members and is looking to engage with more county youth.

“Our objectives are to build thriving chess clubs in every elementary, middle and high school in the county and to create a vibrant chess culture for our young people,” said program manager Barbara Berglund. “We are convinced that learning to play and master chess will help our children to develop strategic thinking skills and crucial habits of non-violence, mental focus and creativity.”

Find more information on the program here.

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Valerie Bonk

About Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk is a multimedia reporter and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media (MCM).


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