Tonawanda News — Started 13 years ago, Archangel 8 Chess Academy promotes chess in after-school programs, community centers, schools and libraries “and any other place we can,” McDuffie said. He’s particularly trying to promote the game to girls, and has started the Urban Queens Chess Club in Buffalo. The Chess Classic last year drew female chess players from as far away as Arcade.
“Little by little, they’re coming out,” he said. “It’s not a activity that traditionally girls get into ... or that people actively try to promote for them. They’re quite talented once they start playing the game.”
People have said to him, “ ‘Isn’t that a male’s game?’ “ he said. “But I don’t think the (pieces) care who takes them out of the box.”
For children in general, the accomplishment of learning and playing a game like chess can be a very good influence, McDuffie said.
“Sometimes some kids don’t know that they’re chess champions or champions in general or feel good about themselves,” he said, describing telling one young boy, “Now you’re a chess champion.”
“Sometimes just having that kind of feeling about themselves ... If they put their mind to it, who knows? It might motivate them to do their homework, or go to bed earlier. There’s a lot of things that can come out of this.”
In additional to its special-event tournaments, Archangel 8 will host chess events every third Saturday starting Nov. 17 at Main Place Mall in Buffalo, and regularly hosts events the last Sunday of each month at the Buffalo Central Library.
“Buffalo is an area that’s underdeveloped as far as chess. They might dabble in it, but haven’t taken it to the next level,” McDuffie said.
“We’re growing to grow it, get people interested in playing in on a regular basic. ... We’re looking for players who want to be competitive.”