WASHINGTON – It’s not every day that teenagers get to tell members of Congress how to think.
But that’s what four young chess champions did Wednesday on Capitol Hill. With as much patience as they could muster, the teens served as coaches as a team of Republicans played a team of Democrats for a single game.
The lawmakers were competing in the first Congressional Chess Tournament, designed to raise awareness of the game’s educational benefits and the importance of introducing chess to young people nationwide. Joining the teen coaches was Garry Kasparov, arguably the greatest chess player of all time.
Kasparov and Rex Sinquefield, founder and president of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis, made the first six moves. They then turned the game over to four congressmen and Senate Chaplin Barry Black, who filled in until Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., arrived.