By Justin Udo

by Justin Udo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Dozens of Philadelphia school students competed for the title of city chess champion.

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For the last four months, elementary, middle, and high school students from all across the city have played each other in bi-weekly chess tournaments.

“Now we’ve gone through the playoffs, and we have the best teams remaining competing head-to-head for the title,” said Jusin Ennis with the After School Activities Partnership.

The program runs the tournament, and Ennis says having things like this for the kids works on a number of different levels.

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“Developing their strategic thinking skills, working as a team, and getting to be exposed to a lot of things they might not be otherwise,” Ennis said.

Matao Ruiz, an 8th grader at Esperanza Charter, says it’s fun to win, it hurts to lose,but the camaraderie keeps him coming back.

“You see that there are other people that understand exactly what you’re laughing about, and they are laughing about the same thing. It makes you feel like you’re in a good community,” said Ruiz.

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Winning teams from Thursday’s tournament will go on to compete at States, and maybe even Super National in Tennessee.