Encouraging Success with Each Move
Winter, 2016
Winter Tournament Rousing Success; Stay Tuned for 2016 Citywide Tournament
Team Brent
Snow days and closed schools did not dampen the spirits for our 7th Annual Winter Tournament. Close to 50 students turned out on January 30 at the Columbia Heights Education Campus. 

Three rounds of chess and a blitz play-off ended with  Brent Elementary and Coach Stephen Ingram taking home the first place team trophy. Shepherd Elementary, now in its third year as a Chess Challenge in DC (CCinDC) site, won its first team trophy when they and Coach Allen Chauvenet took second. Coach Cheryl Alexander and her  JC  Nalle   Elementary  students placed third.  In addition to team awards, trophies were given to the top three finishers in the Select (Intermediate) and Open (Beginner) Sections. T op 10  f inishers in each section won medals and a ll students received participation ribbons.
Team Shepherd
The Winter Tournament is open to students in the  CCinDC program. For many it was the first time that they  played competitively and played against children from   outside their school.
Additional photos from the tournament can be found on our  Facebook page and later in this newsletter. 

Our successful and fun day was  made possible   by  
Team Nall
great volunteers, dedicated coaches, our board of directors, and staff. Equally important are the parents and family members who support our young players, both by transporting them to the tournament venue and also by staying to watch and cheer them. 

Next up is our signature event: The 5th Annual Citywide Tournament.  The Citywide is open to any elementary and middle school students who attend school in DC. The date is April 16th and registration will open soon so keep an eye on our website! 
There are great opportunities for corporations and firms to sponsor this amazing day of chess. If you would like more information, contact Executive Director Suzy Hirsch or call 202-363-2008. 
Coach Spotlight - Cheryl Alexander - JC Nalle Elementary
Coach Cheryl Alexander with her Nalle Students & Principal Kim Adutwun
What is it like to be a first year chess coach? According to Cheryl Alexander, an experienced classroom teacher, it's great! Mrs. Alexander started with CCinDC this school year as a novice chess player and a brand new coach. Excited to interact with  her students in this new way, she enthusiastically dove right in. Mrs. Alexander is a full-time teacher and after school chess coach at JC Nalle Elementary School in Southeast DC. In 2011 Nalle was at risk of closing due to poor performance and low enrollment. Enrichment opportunities
like after school chess are helping to turn the school around. To enable greater student participation, this class meet three times each week for an hour rather than twice a week for an hour and a half. Her students often ask to play chess during recess.  
All that learning paid off at our Winter Tournament where the Nalle team placed third. The looks of surprise and happiness were priceless. Text messages and Tweets came in from all over congratulating the Nalle Scholars. Mrs. Alexander points to a specific reason for the success of some of her new players: they play at home where an adult is involved. The chess sets that CCinDC provides to each student certainly help. Some of her students are teaching their parents or siblings how to play which is a great learning tool for them. Mrs. Alexander has gotten after-hour text messages asking questions about the game. She believes that if you can teach the children, they will advance. It's as simple as that. "The children love the game," according to Mrs. Alexander.

With 10 year-old twin boys and a 5 year-old son, there is enough to keep this working mom very busy. Putting her words into action, the boys are learning chess at home from mom and dad. We didn't ask who wins!
Highlights of the 2016 Winter Tournament
Select Section Winners
Open Section Winners
Select Section Medalists
Open Section Medalists

Would you like to support events like our Winter Tournament? The tournament, lunch, and awards were provided free to all of our students thanks to our generous donors.  Donate Now!  Help provide take-home chess sets, free tournaments, classroom supplies, and much more.