Young chess players learn the moves

Shaun Tracey is determined that Caymanian kids learn the game of chess. 

During a summer camp at the George Town Public Library on Thursday, the children and teens learned about chess pieces and how they are used. 

In addition to enjoying the new game, “Playing chess also helps them to concentrate. It is the only thing that I have seen where you can walk into the library where the children are using the video screens and computers and they will voluntarily come away from it to sit and play a game of chess,” Mr. Tracey said. “Obviously, there is still a bit of chatter, which is also great.” 

Mr. Tracey, with the Cayman Islands Chess Association, will be introducing the chess program in Cayman schools in September. 

“The game is a fun way for kids to develop critical thinking skills,” Mr. Tracey said while teaching chess class at the library with Carlo Lee. 

Mr. Tracey explained that in England there are successful chess schools, and how chess is now being taught in about 370 schools across the United Kingdom. 

“We are trying to bring something similar to Cayman and get chess into the schools,” he said. 

At the library, kids also learned what the goal of the game is and how to open, as well as a few chess tricks. Mr. Tracey said he will also teach them strategy, tactics and some openings. 

The kids showed interest and a willingness to learn the game. Kathryn Kleinworth said she enjoyed playing chess and that she learned it from her family. 

The Cayman Chess Club runs free chess events at 11 a.m. every Saturday at the George Town library. 

Youngsters enjoy playing chess at the George Town Public Library. - Photo: Jewel Levy

Youngsters enjoy playing chess at the George Town Public Library. – Photo: Jewel Levy