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Park Brook hosts chess club in partnership with City of Brooklyn Park

Park Brook hosts chess club in partnership with City of Brooklyn Park

At the end of a busy school day, some students want to relax, some seek to move and play, and a group of Park Brook Elementary students dive right into challenging their minds through the game of chess. Each Monday afternoon this spring, the school’s media center fills up with students eager to improve their chess skills.

a student talks to his partner while playing chess

Madelyn Anfang, a fifth grade teacher at Park Brook, said the city reached out to their school about the possibility of starting a chess club. They only had the capacity for 10 students due to staffing limitations so, as a chess fan herself, Anfang decided to volunteer to help run the club so that all 18 interested students could participate.

“What I really like about volunteering after school is the community-building,” Anfang said. “I get to meet the fourth graders that I might have next year, and I enjoy chess. I’m learning right along with the students, and many of them can beat me pretty easily,” she said with a laugh.

a student solves a chess puzzle on the board

Anfang said that each day of chess club begins with a challenge up on the board, where students have to puzzle out how they’d solve it. They then move into game play, with the adult volunteers circling the room to assist as students learn to strategize and look for openings. 

Triet Lam, the chess club organizer who also works at the Zanewood Recreation Center, said he’s hoping to expand Chess Club to other local schools in coming years.

two girls play chess