LANSING, Mich. — It's a game of strategy and patience but it's not offered in many local schools.
Now a group of volunteers is giving kids and community members the opportunity to learn how to play chess for free.
For the last year, a group of men called the Dangerous Knights have been coming to The Village to teach chess. David Odom, founder of the Village Chess Club, reached out for help after he realized there weren’t local programs teaching the game.
“They had some great chess masters and they agreed to come in and volunteer and give their own time,” Odom said.
Odom says the Dangerous Knights faithfully show up every Monday and Wednesday night to teach anyone who wants to learn the game.
He says there are lots of life lessons to learn from chess.
“I’ve learned to meditate and clear my mind before we even start. We do that every single class. That was one instructor’s trick. He taught us that. He also taught me and my son about being healthy,” Odom said.
Joshua Odom, his 24-year-old son, says the game has been fun to learn.
“I just love the aspect of the game itself just overall. Everything about it. The skills you gain from it. The knowledge and the wisdom,” Joshua Odom said.
Organizers say there are about 10 kids who regularly stop by to learn the game. Fausto Twining is one of them.
“Its awesome because an hour is really perfect. The teachers are really kind and helpful. Its just a fun place and no one is a sore loser or winner,” said the 11-year old Twining.
Bryan Leek is a member of the Dangerous Knights and one of the people teaching the kids at the Village Chess Club. He says the goal is to pass on knowledge to the next generation.
“Its all about teaching what to do if it ever came down to a situation where you were in trouble. You’d already know in your mind what to do. In other words. You’re always thinking ahead. Always,” Leek said.
Chess is not currently offered in the Lansing School District.
The Lansing Village Chess Club meets at The Village on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard every Monday and Wednesday from 5:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m.
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