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Hundreds Of Philadelphia Schoolkids Tackle Chess Challenge

(Photo by John McDevitt)

(Photo by John McDevitt)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Football and chess an unlikely combination?  Perhaps not.

The Philadelphia Eagles today hosted a youth chess challenge at Lincoln Financial Field, in South Philadelphia.

More than 200 Philadelphia schoolkids in grades 2 through 12 qualified for the Philadelphia Youth Chess Challenge.

Sarah Martinez-Helfman is executive director of Eagles Youth Partnership, which is hosting the event.  Chess Challenge is a program of the After School Activities Partnership (“ASAP”).

Martinez-Helfman says chess is more than a game.

“Chess teaches about risks and consequences, and a lot of kids live in neighborhoods where they are facing enormous risks every day just go to school or just to get home.  So we want them to be thinking ahead, and these kids are truly thinking ahead.”

Corey Taylor, a 4th grader at Bache Martin  Elementary School, has been playing chess for about two years.

“It’s all about thinking and making a move and to have fun,” he says.

There are 313 chess clubs with 4,680 students in Philadelphia, playing weekly at a variety of locations including schools, libraries, and recreation centers.

Reported by John McDevitt, KYW Newsradio 1060