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Kids Learn All the Right Moves

Outbursts of "I can't find my pawn!" and "Whose turn is it now?" filled the back of the Weston Library Thursday evening. Eleven children came to the weekly Chess Mates club armed with their game faces and basic knowledge of piece movement. The ages and skill levels varied, with some participants who sat with their legs dangling off the chairs, too small to reach the ground.

"My Dad taught me how to play and I really liked it,” said 2nd-grader Taylor Graham who was there for the fifth or sixth time with her mother and younger brother, Zachary.

The club instructor for the summer, Mary Welsh-Lehmann, draws cards with instructions that she calls out to the children: “white move a bishop,” “black move a pawn.” They move the plastic pieces if there is an open space. There were more people at the club this week than she expected, but the numbers are welcomed, she said.

It was Ariella Delgass’ first time trying out the club. Her mother, Jessica Spector, said she brought her daughter to the library because she has trouble finding other five-year-olds that know how to play chess. Ariella’s mother as she stood nearby supporting her. “I don’t always win,” said Ariella confidently.

Chess Mates runs every Thursday in June and July from 4:15 until 5:00 p.m. and pre-registration is required. Instructional books and chess sets are available for checkout. For more information call the Weston Public Library at (203) 222-2665.

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