Led senior Amayra Hill, junior Shantoria Rice and sophomore Arianna Hill, Benjamin Carson High School claimed the city’s high school chess championship Feb. 25.
“I was shocked, especially when Cass Tech is in the competition because they always get first place,” Hill said.
The BCHS chess club has found success the past few years. Two years ago, the club competed at a national tournament in Schaumburg, Ill., outside Chicago. The BCHS chess team has been coached by BCHS science teacher Kwesi Matthews since 2017.
“For the first time we went to nationals two years ago, but I had no idea we would place first this year," Matthews said.
The chess team’s success has not gone unnoticed by the BCHS community.
“I am so excited the chess team won the city championship," said BCHS principal Dr. Sean Lively.
Lively said he was so he excited he jumped out of his seat, cheered and pumped his fist.
“I ran around the main office telling everyone. It was a great feeling, and I am so proud of our chess team and coach,” Lively said.
“We have has some success, it’s just another way we can show school pride and having students getting involved so our program can expand," Matthews said.
Chess has become even more popular during the pandemic. HBO Sports recently reported on the rise of the popularity of the game.
“Chess is a great game for anyone to learn, it helps with critical thinking, problem solving, long and short term planning," Matthews said.