More than 200 grade-schoolers pulled out their chess boards Tuesday morning for a tournament created by one Seattle police detective 11 years ago.
The annual chess tournament was a faceoff between Van Asselt and South Shore elementary schools, according to a Seattle Police Department news release.
The tournament was put on the Urban Youth Chess Club. The club was started by Denise "Cookie" Bouldin.
As a kid, Bouldin was told that she wasn't smart enough to play chess, which helped inspire her to learn it and teach kids.
"It really has helped me to connect with the kids," she said. "They are wonderful—they love this game."
When the Urban Youth Chess Club was created, Bouldin had no idea the board game would be so popular. It started with three players—now sometimes has more than 60 kids coming to play.
But it's not just chess for these youngsters. They also learn about personal responsibility, community responsibility, and develop personal relationships with police, the news release said.
"I actually use the chess board as an example of your community," Bouldin said. "I teach anti-violence through the chess board. I teach consequences of your actions on the chess board. And then we talk about consequences of your actions on the street."
The chess club is for anyone at least 7 years old, she said. Adults and grandparents participate too.
"I had one kid come to me and say, 'Detective Cookie, you know what? Chess is like the real life.' Now when a kid tells me that, I know he gets it," she said. "What I'm trying to put through—he gets it."