Lansing Chess Club teaches the game for free

LANSING, Mich. — It’s a game of strategy and patience, but it’s not offered at many local schools.

Today, a group of volunteers gives children and community members the opportunity to learn how to play chess for free.

For the past year, a group of men called the Dangerous Knights have been coming to the Village to teach chess. David Odom, founder of the Village Chess Club, asked for help after realizing there were no local programs teaching the game.

“They had chess grandmasters and they were willing to come and volunteer and give their time,” Odom said.

Odom says the Dangerous Knights show up faithfully every Monday and Wednesday night to teach anyone who wants to learn the game.

He says there are many life lessons to be learned from failures.

“I learned to meditate and clear my mind before I even started. We do this in every class. It was an instructor’s thing. He taught us that. He also taught me and my son to be healthy,” Odom said.

Joshua Odom, his 24-year-old son, says the game has been fun to learn.

“I love the look of the game itself overall. Everything about it. The skills you gain from it. The knowledge and the wisdom,” Joshua Odom said.

Organizers say there are around 10 children who regularly stop by to learn the game. Fausto Twining is one of them.

“It’s great because one hour is really perfect. The teachers are really nice and helpful. It’s just a fun place and no one is a bad loser or winner,” said 11-year-old Twining.

Bryan Leek is a member of the Dangerous Knights and one of the people who teach children at the Village Chess Club. He says the goal is to pass the knowledge on to the next generation.

“It’s about teaching what to do if it ever came down to a situation where you were in trouble. You would already know in your head what to do. In other words. You always think about the future. Always,” Leek said.

Chess is not currently offered in the Lansing School District.

The Lansing Village Chess Club meets at the Village on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard every Monday and Wednesday from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

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