Excellence in Education: Chess Club is headed to nationals

Posted By: Megan Conway


The Chess Club from North American Martyrs is going to nationals! It’s the first time these young players will make the trip.

"One of the biggest benefits to it is that they have fun; it’s a fun thing. They don’t realize that they’re learning. They don’t realize that they’re using strategies," says Sister Janelle Buettner, Principal at North American Martyrs.

"My brother started doing it, and I wanted to try it, and then I really liked it," says Rylan Brandl, a 3rd grader.

"Because it’s a strategic game and it’s really fun because I hangout with my friends and play chess a lot," says Justin Wisnieski, a 2nd grader.

The Chess Club is for kindergarten through 8th grade students and there are about 100 kids who participate. They’ve won the state tournament for six years running, but have never had the funds to take the trip to nationals. What do they contribute their success to?

"Children that are ready to learn, that are focused and can be taught, and that are well disciplined. A good memory helps a lot, teaching them the right fundamentals and reinforcing these fundamentals, and having supportive parents, of course," says Father Brian Connor, Pastor at North American Martyrs.

Father Connor says chess is helping their students academically. Nationals will be in Indianapolis in April.