High Point organization uses chess to help teach life lessons

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HIGH POINT, N.C. -- How often have you heard that old phrase, “It’s just a game, don’t take it too seriously.”

But what if that game is teaching you how to be successful … in life?

“Our primary goal is to be able to use the parallels of life and chess to be able to transition the game to everyday life,” says Eugene Brown of Big Chair Chess Club. “If you understand the game of chess to the fullest, it'll improve your life skills.”

Brown knows what it’s like to be on the rough side of life. He spent time in prison. And it was there that he learned not just how to play chess from a master who was serving time with him, but learned how it can turn a life around.

Before then, says Brown, “I never knew the concept of the deep strategy.”

After he served his time, Brown began a chess club in Washington, D.C. that had tremendous success taking young people who might otherwise be getting in trouble.

“Most of these kids now are in the opening game of life and this is the parallel with life and chess where you in your opening game,” he said.

He recently brought that same program to High Point, through a request from someone at the High Point Housing Authority, and the kids are eating it up.

“It teaches me how to be a king so I don't make the wrong decisions and like get myself mixed up where I'm, like, not the king, I'm just a pawn,” says 11-year-old Quran Monrom.

“You have to think and protect what's most valuable to you,” says 14-year-old Dashaun Monroe.

“Just understanding how you can change your life, you can change your game around,” Brown said. “Or you can change your game to understand the fact that even though you may not win, there's always another game to improve.”

Learn more about the Big Chair Chess Club at their website.

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