By Sally Marks
The Desert Vista Elementary School Mustangs made all the right moves and handily won the 2nd Annual AJUSD Elementary School Chess Tournament. The DVES team won all but four matches during the season.
In a final competition held on March 6, Four Peaks Elementary School came in second, and Peralta Trail Elementary School placed third. However, everyone who participated in the chess club was a winner, as learning how to play chess can enhance a student’s creativity, improve concentration and focus and develop stronger critical thinking skills, boost memory and support superior academic performance.
The Student Chess League began in 2018 after Joseph Gerber, a winter visitor from Massachusetts, launched the program. He modeled the program after a similar program he set up in Needham, MA.
“I know from my life experience thus far that chess has greatly enriched my life, and now I have a chance, again, to show some young students how to play chess and enrich their lives over time,” said Gerber, who not only volunteers, but has recruited other volunteers to assist with the program.
“It has been a gratifying experience to watch the students as they learn and grow through this exciting game.”
Photo above: Luke Dunlap (L) and Jaxson Rice (R) face off for second place in the AJUSD Elementary Chess Championship.