Every Saturday at 4 p.m. brothers Alexie Petrov, 10, and Niki Petrov, 14, sit down to play chess with their friends. Online, that is – given the pandemic. They are part of the Woodbridge Chess Ninjas, a free private group they formed last fall on chess.com. The group has about 31 members, with typically 12-18 logging on any given Saturday.
“Group members are randomly paired and play four (10- or 15-minute) Swiss rounds against one another,” said their mom, Chandra Prasad. The group is open to Beecher and Amity Middle School kids who want to play chess and improve their game.
In addition, Amity High School Chess Team member Christian Chen has been offering free 30-minute chess tutorials on different topics every week, from endgame- and middle-game strategies, to various openings, to in-depth game analysis. These tutorials are taking place on Wednesday afternoons. Another Amity Chess Team member, Dan, also joins at times.
“Chess club members range in experience from novice/very new players to moderate players,” Prasad said. “Interested kids should know that we have mostly novice players and a few who are slightly more advanced with ratings around 1200. Because of limited time and resources, we cannot teach kids how to play chess; so, all of the kids who join the club come in knowing the basics, at a minimum.”
The Woodbridge Chess Ninjas are inviting any interested elementary or middle-school- aged Woodbridge resident to join them. To reach out, email Chandra Prasad at firstname.lastname@example.org. All children who live in Woodbridge are welcome to join as long as they know the basics of the game.
By Bettina Thiel – Woodbridge Town News Correspondent