Manchester Gate Elementary students learn life lessons from chess

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Students at Manchester Gate Elementary School are learning valuable life skills, thanks to a centuries-old game.

Ryan Trevino says he just wanted to beat his dad at a game of chess.

Three years later, he's one of over 50 students in the Manchester Gate Elementary Chess Club, practicing weekly with fellow students and competing in tournaments.

"My dad and I wake up early in the morning, we go to the tournament we probably go get coffee or something," he says.

The club has been a part of the Manchester community for over 20 years and competes against other chess teams from across the Valley.

"I see them learning strategies and being able to slow down in their thinking process and think 2, 3, 4 moves ahead, which transfers over to their academics," says their coach Karen Barretto.

Students meet at least once a week for practice and are divided up by grades, learning critical thinking and valuable life skills.

"I've learned things I can use in real life. It's taught me to go slower, stay a few steps ahead, prepare, and if something goes wrong, don't throw it all away. You got to keep going," says Ryan.

The students have their last tournament of the year at the end of the month.

As for Ryan, he says he's reached his goal and can beat his dad, and his excitement about the game continues to grow.
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