Chess offers thinking skills for life

Register Reporter

Register/Anne Kazmierczak
Domonic Cargile, left foreground, and Shane Evans share a game of chess at a SAFE BASE special workshop Wednesday afternoon at Lincoln Elementary School. Behind them, Jose Castaneda, left, and Brayden Wiggin contemplate their next moves.

More than 100 Iola elementary students got a lesson in strategy Wednesday evening.
At the invitation of local Lions Club President Virginia Peters, Lions District Governor Terry Welden visited SAFE BASE in Iola to teach the students the basics of the game of chess.
“Each school district in the state has a problem solving model to help children with better decision making,” Welden said. “The game of chess gives them a model where they can try out different strategies without negative consequences.”
Welden beleives that’s a life skill worth learning.
“There’s not too many of us adults that don’t have some decision we’ve made that we’d like to change,” he noted. For youth, Welden said, “Chess is a good model for them, where they can look before they leap.”
Retired one year from a 32-year teaching career, the last 18 in special education, Welden believes in giving students tools to help them evaluate crossroads in their lives.
Welden learned to play chess while growing up in Colony, he said. He hosted a chess club during his four years of high school there, too, he noted.
Now he is happy to travel wherever a group will have him, to share his love and knowledge of the game with young learners.
“I’m no great chess player,” Welden said, “but I enjoy working with children.”
Welden has so far visited Humboldt, Yates Center, Burlington and Iola in Lions District S, which covers southeast Kansas.