FEDERAL WAY, Wash. -- The leader of the Federal Way Public Schools started a new contest this year to bring new attention to an old game.

Superintendent Dr. Tammy Campbell launched the effort this year called “Chess with the Superintendent.” It’s an old game that she believes can teach kids new skills.

“I’ve just seen the impact it can have on children, and I think it’s a lost game because you don’t see a lot of our young people doing it. But it requires them to be critical thinkers which is what we know we want them ... we want them to be problem solvers. And there’s a lot of research that talks about the benefit of chess in other content areas,” Dr. Campbell said. “Chess trains your mind how to really be strategic, and I can’t tell you how important that is. That’s important no matter your career.”

Campbell picked the first winner last week and selected 3rd grader Jayden Walker of Silver Lake Elementary.

“We had no idea that we would get as many student entries as we had,” Dr. Campbell said. “I think we’re looking at about 700 or 800 students who put their names in to play chess with me so instead of doing one a month now we’re probably going to do anywhere between five and eight.”

She believes that parents everywhere should consider investing some of their kid’s time in chess.

“Some of our students probably play it on a computer,” Dr. Campbell said. “But there’s nothing like having an opponent right in front of you and sort of playing the mind game and not showing your hand. The social aspects of playing it face to face are much more powerful than what you can do on a computer.”