• 86°

Using chess, Eugene Brown visits Power Cross to show kids importance of making right decisions

SALISBURY – Eugene Brown is bringing life experience and chess knowledge to the boys at Power Cross this week.

Brown, a Washington D.C. native, has been teaching children how to play chess for decades. He first picked up the game in a community chess program and found himself playing a lot of chess while serving 18 years in federal prison.

Brown robbed a bank when he was 20, and after his release, he dedicated himself to reaching out to at-risk youth like himself to keep them from making the same mistakes. Brown uses the game to teach kids about choices and thinking before they make a decision.

His program,”From Pawns to Kings and Queens,” is geared toward helping children understand the importance of thinking before they move. He said there are parallels between chess and life that make it a good teaching tool, noting the importance of strategy in the opening, middle and end-game.

His story was chronicled on the big screen in 2013 when he was portrayed by Cuba Gooding Jr. in “Life of a King.”

Brown is at the Salisbury Power Cross Ministries campus this week, working with the children to give them a crash course in the game. He is giving them more than the basics on how different pieces move.

On Wednesday, during a brief lesson about using the knight, Brown talked through the quirks of the piece: its unique ability to jump other pieces and it’s L-shaped movement. He also showed them the power of the knight if they make good use of it by demonstrating the piece can cover huge swaths of the board from the center, but its movement is constricted when it is on the edge.

Power Cross Coach E’Kiah Gillespie said the game is showing the boys how acting without thinking leads to undesirable results. In chess it is obvious: acting without thought often results in a loss.

Gillespie said the competitive nature of chess is a good motivator for the children.

“If it’s not competitive, they just kind of shrug their shoulders and it’s not that important,” Gillespie said.

Dermyis Sloan, a sixth-grader at Knox Middle School, said he did not know anything about chess before this week. He now enjoys it and wants to keep playing.

“It could help me be better at thinking and it’s fun to play,” Sloan said.

Salisbury Campus Director Shane Ridgeway said Power Cross Ministries helps children aged 7 and older with athletics training for football, basketball and baseball as well as academic assistance and spiritual guidance.

The programs, including meals, are free for families.

Ridgeway said the program brought in chess instruction because the organization tries to expose students to new experiences.

“There’s strategies, and what Mr. Brown does, he brings that strategy and that skillset to life for them,” Ridgeway said.

Comments

Local

Rowan County Chamber of Commerce’s Dragon Boat race returns after year hiatus

Local

Marker commemorating Jim Crow-era lynchings in Rowan County, racial injustice required years of work

Local

Identified Marine was a Salisbury native, served in WWII

Coronavirus

Rowan County sees COVID-19 cases coming more quickly, remains in middle tier for community spread

Cleveland

Cleveland plans to build walking trail, community barn quilt mural

High School

High school athletics: Male Athlete of the Year Walker in league of once-in-a-generation players

Business

Young entrepreneur learns lesson of responsibility by raising quail, selling eggs

Lifestyle

Historic McCanless House sold, buyers plan on converting home into events venue

Lifestyle

Library’s Summer Reading Week 10 has virtual storytime, last chance to log hours

Coronavirus

Positive COVID test knocks DeChambeau out of Olympics

College

College football: North grad Delaney ready for next challenges at Johnson C. Smith

College

Fishing: Carson grad Bauer signs with CVCC

Business

Biz Roundup: City of Salisbury brings back in-person community resource fair

Nation/World

States scale back virus reporting just as cases surge

Nation/World

Wildfires blasting through West draw states to lend support

Nation/World

French protesters reject virus passes, vaccine mandate

News

State briefs roundup

Crime

Salisbury man arrested for robbery in Cleveland

Crime

Blotter: South Carolina man arrested after attempting to purchase dog with stolen credit card

Local

Carolyn Hurley remembered as giving person

News

Stay-at-home orders cut into commercial fishermen’s catch last year

News

Two bodies found after helicopter goes down off NC coast

Nation/World

Unlikely partners: Pelosi, Cheney team up for Jan. 6 probe

Crime

Uber driver charged with sexually assaulting customer near Knightdale