Brooklyn students receive chess sets, learning valuable lessons from game

PARK SLOPE, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Students at a school in Brooklyn were anxious to play the game of chess after receiving the chess sets Wednesday.

Boxes and boxes of chess sets were delivered to PS 10 in Park Slope.

"I love the analytical thinking," fifth grader Mahima Paleja said. "It gives me patience strategic strategies, I love all of that."

Paleja is on the chess team, which has brought home plenty of victories.

"It feels like a triumph," third grader Joella Skillman said. "I normally win in tournaments, so I feel like I'm helping my team out."

They are also learning about sportsmanship with each move.

"A lot of times in life if you complain in chess, there is no avenue for complaining," Ian West said.

West runs the school's chess program and sits on the board of The Gift of Chess, the non-profit giving away these sets and free access to a chess training app. The hope is to create connections.


"To have 10,000 kids playing chess virtually and physically across the city," West said. "I can't help but feel that has to be good for everybody."

In all, 10,000 sets are being distributed to 14 public and charter schools in New York City. 838 have been set aside for PS 10.

Principal Laura Scott says playing and having her own set as a kid were invaluable.

"My father said it would teach critical thinking in strategic planning, and he was absolutely right," Scott said.

The students already seem to be learning the lessons.

"It really challenges my mind and brain, as well as I really think it's fun," third grader Ruthie Rabinowitz said.

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