Northwest Wanderings: More than 200 students from Seattle’s Van Asselt and South Shore elementary schools squared off Tuesday for the 5-foot-tall tournament trophy at Detective Cookie’s Urban Youth Chess Club.
There are plenty of good moves, and positive ones, at Detective Cookie’s Urban Youth Chess Club. On Tuesday, more than 200 students from Seattle’s Van Asselt and South Shore elementary schools squared off for the 5-foot-tall tournament trophy. The club, in its 11th year, started with only three participants. Denise “Cookie” Bouldin, a Seattle police detective, says, “It’s a sport of the mind. It’s about having fun and because it helps with self-esteem.” She says the players are a “rainbow of nationalities.” Eleven-year-old Jordan Hurd, a fifth-grader at South Shore, has been playing for only a year, but says “chess helps me focus. It helps you learn to help others.” Pointing out there is no trash-talking in chess, he notes some players may try to distract by staring intently while you consider a move. Bouldin says it’s an anti-violence, positive activity that develops critical thinking and problem solving. “If I don’t win, I smile and say ‘good game,’ ” Jordan says. “If I win, I don’t brag, and just smile and say ‘good game.’ ” The club meets from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays at the Rainier Beach Library, and from noon to 2 p.m. Saturdays at the Rainier Beach Community Center. Children, teens and adults are invited, and it’s free. Your move.