Students learn importance of chess


Members of the Christian Academy Schools Chess Club are first row, Sarah Couch, Dane Fisher, Cullen Rogers, Keagan Blackford, Blake Neff, Ezra Kirkpatrick; second row, James Wright, Ella Michael, Abigail Gish, Estelle Sullivan, Benjamin Burnside, Michael Barhorst; third row, Sariyah Abbott, Anthony Barhorst, Zach Smitley, Clint Neff, Gavin Abbott, Alex Keller; and top row, Coach Bethany Kirkpatrick, Becca Keller, Julia Berryman, Sophia Gish, Bryce Monnin, John Couch and Alex Johnson. Not present for the photograph were Isaac Hott and Aiden Bryant.

Members of the Christian Academy Schools Chess Club are first row, Sarah Couch, Dane Fisher, Cullen Rogers, Keagan Blackford, Blake Neff, Ezra Kirkpatrick; second row, James Wright, Ella Michael, Abigail Gish, Estelle Sullivan, Benjamin Burnside, Michael Barhorst; third row, Sariyah Abbott, Anthony Barhorst, Zach Smitley, Clint Neff, Gavin Abbott, Alex Keller; and top row, Coach Bethany Kirkpatrick, Becca Keller, Julia Berryman, Sophia Gish, Bryce Monnin, John Couch and Alex Johnson. Not present for the photograph were Isaac Hott and Aiden Bryant.


Dr. Ronald Elie and Bethany Kirkpatrick watch a chess game.


Christian Academy School Chess Club members compete in a chess tournament.


SIDNEY — Students at Christian Academy have had the opportunity to join a Chess Club for the first time. The club is for students in grades four to eight.

As Christian Academy seeks to “equip and inspire a new generation of Christ centered leaders” the staff is doing this through many arenas. One way to do this is to challenge students in discipline and strategy using chess. Chess teaches students how to ignore distractions and analyze circumstances. Students learn to find solutions and decide an action plan. These skills will teach them how to use creative thinking in the real world as well as become problem solvers in everyday life. They recently completed their first chess tournament with 28 participants.

Bethany Kirkpatrick is the team’s coach. The Chess Club was inspired by her dad, Dr. Ronald Elie.

”He taught me to play when I was in elementary school,” said Kirkpatrick. “He played chess matches with some of the world’s best. Although he was a busy pastor, he always took time to play chess with his children and grandchildren. He also came to facilitate the first chess games at a Christian Academy event two years ago. Last year he passed away from COVID. This year I really felt like I wanted to pass down to more children how to play and strategize using chess as he taught me.

“Chess a great game to challenge one to slow down and think,” she said. “In January I started the first Chess Club. Believe me, the tournament games are challenging. I am thankful for the parents who have supported this program and for Ed Thomas who came to help, encourage and challenge the students to play better.”

She is looking for area schools which have a Chess Club for future tournaments.

Members of the Christian Academy Schools Chess Club are first row, Sarah Couch, Dane Fisher, Cullen Rogers, Keagan Blackford, Blake Neff, Ezra Kirkpatrick; second row, James Wright, Ella Michael, Abigail Gish, Estelle Sullivan, Benjamin Burnside, Michael Barhorst; third row, Sariyah Abbott, Anthony Barhorst, Zach Smitley, Clint Neff, Gavin Abbott, Alex Keller; and top row, Coach Bethany Kirkpatrick, Becca Keller, Julia Berryman, Sophia Gish, Bryce Monnin, John Couch and Alex Johnson. Not present for the photograph were Isaac Hott and Aiden Bryant.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/04/web1_Team2.jpgMembers of the Christian Academy Schools Chess Club are first row, Sarah Couch, Dane Fisher, Cullen Rogers, Keagan Blackford, Blake Neff, Ezra Kirkpatrick; second row, James Wright, Ella Michael, Abigail Gish, Estelle Sullivan, Benjamin Burnside, Michael Barhorst; third row, Sariyah Abbott, Anthony Barhorst, Zach Smitley, Clint Neff, Gavin Abbott, Alex Keller; and top row, Coach Bethany Kirkpatrick, Becca Keller, Julia Berryman, Sophia Gish, Bryce Monnin, John Couch and Alex Johnson. Not present for the photograph were Isaac Hott and Aiden Bryant.

Dr. Ronald Elie and Bethany Kirkpatrick watch a chess game.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/04/web1_SDN041622ChessTournament.jpgDr. Ronald Elie and Bethany Kirkpatrick watch a chess game.

Christian Academy School Chess Club members compete in a chess tournament.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/04/web1_Tournament.jpgChristian Academy School Chess Club members compete in a chess tournament.