by Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia Eagles put football aside for the more cerebral game of chess Tuesday.  KYW’s Paul Kurtz has more on the 10th Annual Youth Chess Tournament at Lincoln Financial Field.

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Defensive end Phillip Hunt admitted that he was out of his element.

“I’m not very talented at chess but I’ll give it a shot,” said Hunt.

For defensive lineman Ronnie Cameron, the tournament was a return to his roots.

“I started playing chess when I was about 8 years old.  And I played in New York state chess championships and whatnot,” said Cameron.

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But even a seasoned player like Cameron was no match for 14-year-old Arlen Roberts.

“Chess is fun. It’s a thinking and strategy game.  And it helps with my schoolwork because it makes you think a lot,” said Roberts.

Several thousand students take part in the After School Activities Partnerships Chess Challenge. But only the best can compete in the Eagles chess tournament.

The recent closing of more than 20 schools cast a cloud of uncertainty over this year’s event.  Eagles Youth Partnership Executive Director Sarah Martinez-Helfman says she hopes the worst is over.

“The most dangerous time of the day is between 3 and 6 p.m. in the after school hours, and so when schools are closing young people are moving from one school to another, having an anchor like a chess club can be really critical for their growth and for their safety,” Martinez-Helfman.

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