San Antonio Express-News (Sunday) - - Mysa -

In the ’80s, a spec­tac­u­lar break­through oc­curred in scholas­tic chess when in­ner-city ele­men­tary and mid­dle school teams from Philadel­phia won the na­tional cham­pi­onships. “The Mighty Pawns” and “The Bad Bish­ops” were re­ceived with he­roes’ wel­comes on their re­turn home.

Their achieve­ment had been spear­headed by a teacher, Steve Shutt, who ran a dis­ci­plined pro­gram of chess, study, phys­i­cal con­di­tion­ing and diet. Over the years, the much-her­alded chess pro­gram pe­tered out.

But, in 2013, the “Mi­nor Threats” a team of 10 2nd to 6th grade stu­dents from four schools in West and South­west Philly picked up seven tro­phies in the state cham­pi­onships.

Again, the re­sponse was heart­en­ing. Their teacher and coach, Ja­son Bui, ap­peared on the To­day Show in Oc­to­ber of this year and re­ceived a sur­prise $10,000 award for the team. In th­ese trou­bled times, it is heart­en­ing to see chess play a pro­gres­sive so­cial role.

Be­low is a win by Maxime Vachier-La­grave against Niko­las Lubbe from the IoM Masters in Dou­glas, Eng­land.

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