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Chess in the Hook

“You were just doing something, right? Let me take [these pieces] for now, until I get to something simple. But real strategists don’t think like that…the first thing I did was figure out the whole game…If you don’t know the strategy, nothing’s going to help you. You’re going to lose.” 

Yesterday afternoon, the Justice Center welcomed International Grandmaster of chess Maurice Ashley to teach the first session of our new chess program, "Think Before You Move," an innovative new initiative designed to teach critical thinking and decision-making skills to young people through the medium of chess. A group of teens ranging in age from 12 to 17 years old and drawn from both the South Brooklyn area and our adolescent diversion and family court programs, channeled their energy and focus on deconstructing the strategy behind a series of short games. Mr. Ashley challenged his students to look beyond the simple rules he had laid out for them in order to see how breaking down the design and strategy behind a game could help them to anticipate their opponent's next move and win the game. 

International Grandmaster Maurice Ashley advises students on how to strategize and plan out their next move.
We are looking forward to the next three sessions of "Think Before You Move"! For more photos of the first session, check out our slideshow:

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