Philadelphia children 'Checkmate Violence' in annual chess tournament

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Sunday, January 29, 2023
Philadelphia children 'Checkmate Violence' in annual chess tournament
These student prodigies say mastering chess is their way of building confidence and taking on the world!

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- "I think chess helps kids with negotiating skills and conflict resolution," said Bradley Crable. "But if they can't get that resolved, then they have to call in a mediator."

Crable thinks that life lesson is worth learning. That's why he has dedicated the last two decades of his life to growing the tabletop sport in Philadelphia.

"You can humanize them, still talk to them, and resolve your problems without referring to violence," he said.

Crable is now the Chess Manager of the nonprofit, After School Activities Partnerships, or ASAP. Chess is just one of their programs that they bring to schools in Philadelphia.

Each year, the PECO/ASAP Checkmate Violence Chess Tournament rolls around to engage young students in the challenging sport.

"I got into the sport and kindergarten and I really just liked it," said 9-year-old Mariam Kenneh, who was confused by the game mechanics at first. "As long as you put your mind to it, you can kind of do what you want with it."

Students enjoy the event because it is an accessible tournament with both rated and non-rated matches.

"I play these people year-round, the same people," said 16-year-old Gabriel Burgos. "It's just a nice way to reconnect with some tournament friends and stuff."

To learn more about ASAP programs throughout the year in Philadelphia, visit their website.

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