The Alfred H. Baumann Library recently held a “Life-size Living Chess” game. The Woodland Park Chess Club coordinator Stephen McGorty partnered with the library to create chess as a team sport.
Thanks to the help of the Department of Public Works, a life-size chess board was painted on the library lawn and library Junior Ambassadors and teen volunteers under the direction of Youth Services Librarian Allie Steiger helped make the chess piece headbands that were used to identify the players’ role on the board. Unlike the usual one to one play of a chess game, living chess brought the game to the next level. The players had to work as a team to strategize their moves to get to the ultimate move, “checkmate.”
“Witnessing the intellectual thought process in action while working together as a team was remarkable,” said Library Director Linda Hoffman. “Stephen and Jeanine, his assistant, got right in the game helping the kids to strategize their next move.” The Woodland Park Chess Club serves children in kindergarten to 8th grade. They will begin their 2019 season in January and registration begins in December. During play, Stephen told the kids when having to make a choice in moves, “Think about it first, and then make your best possible move!” This is not only good advice in a game of chess, but good advice for the game of life.
Although the White Team prevailed, the Red Team lost with grace and the White Team won with humility. However, everyone won by accomplishing this small feat of playing chess as a team sport. Everyone enjoyed apple cider and cookies and left with smiles on their faces.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE ALFRED H. BAUMANN LIBRARY