Matthew Jolles wins chess tournament

Student achiever

January 30, 2002

The student: Matthew Jolles, 10

School: Waverly Elementary School

Special achievement: Won first place in the Susquehanna Scholastic Chess Tournament in the K-5 division by winning all five of his matches. The tournament was held in Havre de Grace in November. He is a member of Waverly's 42-member chess club.

How did he learn to play? "My dad taught me and then I entered the UMBC Chess Club." He went on to take lessons from the UMBC team's top players and was soon able to teach his 5-year-old brother the game. Through the "Out Back Chess Club," which was held at his house this past summer, he taught chess to neighborhood children and friends.

What he likes about chess: "It's exciting. It's intense. I like math and you need math thinking for it. You have to think ahead."

How playing chess helps him in school: "It makes you think a lot," he said. Playing chess forces him to think about cause and effect. He compares the game to working hard for good grades in school. "You can't settle for the good move. You have to find the best move," he said.

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