NEWS: More Than 130 Students from Across Vermont Join Second-Annual Youth Chess Day

BURLINGTON, Vt., April 22 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Saturday welcomed more than 130 students from across Vermont to his second-annual Youth Chess Day. Held at Vermont State University in Randolph, the event featured a learn-to-play session for students playing chess for the first time, as well as a recreational tournament for experienced players.

Kicking off the event, Sanders stated: “One of the reasons we are holding this second-annual Chess Day is that we want children to exercise and play ball, but we also want you to have smart minds. We want you to learn how to think and to strategize. And chess is a game that has been around for a very, very long time, and it is played all over the world – it’s a universal game. So, what we look forward to today is for you all to compete and enjoy yourselves.”

In his remarks, Sanders thanked all of the parents in attendance, and thanked chess advisors Michelle Sagalchik, Eric Hutchins, Hank Buermeyer, Hayden Collins and the UVM Chess Club, and Zoe Greenwald and the Middlebury College Chess Club.

Ada, an 8th grader who attended the event, said: “I came out here today because having a competition like this is a great way to build a chess community and meet other kids that play chess.” Her favorite part of chess is that “each new match you get to know a lot about the game and meet new friends, and it’s a really fun game to play.”

Hollis, a 6th grade chess player, said: “My favorite part about chess is being able to think and strategizing.” Hollis said chess “is good to develop your brain and helps you think.” He hopes to see more chess events in Vermont in the future.

Michael, a parent who brought his kids to Chess Day, said: “My family is here to continue a tradition that was started last year. It is a tremendous opportunity for young people in Vermont to learn the game of chess. It provides them with many skills and abilities that are crucial in life.”

The “Learn-To-Play” session was open to students grades 1-8 who were new to the game, while the recreational tournament was open to more experienced players in grades 1-12. Students with all levels of experience were highly encouraged to attend. Lunch was provided for all students free of charge.

To see photos from the event, click here.