Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — About a month into her term, Mayor Anne E. McCaffrey is facing a host of challenges. But none were like the challenge that was before her on Monday evening.
That was 9-year-old chess player Jordan White.
White and McCaffrey were playing chess Monday night at the weekly meeting of the Golden Knights Scholastic Chess Club. Coach Michael McDuffie said the mayor’s visit was two-fold, to coincide with March being Women’s History Month and to encourage women of all ages to get involved with chess.
McDuffie is the founder and chess ambassador of the Archangel 8 Chess Academy, an affiliate of the U.S. Chess Federation, that encourages youth chess play in the Buffalo Niagara Falls area. And now, the Golden Knights club has roughly 30 kids from Lockport to Medina in kindergarten through eighth grade playing once a week.
Earlier this month, White, a student at Charles A. Upson Elementary, played at the Women’s History tournament in Rochester. It was the largest turnout in the nine-year history of the tournament.
”I had fun,” White said.
McDuffie said he encourages kids to play in tournaments, so to give them confidence and more experience.
”It helps them get over that fear,” McDuffie said. “They go against others, it makes a big impression.”
The game with the mayor was cut short due to time. But, McCaffrey, herself a longtime chess player, said White helped her remember a particular move called castling kingside. Castling consists of moving the king two squares towards a rook on the player’s first row, then moving the rook to the square over which the king crossed.
”She was great,” McCaffrey said.
The Golden Knights club are calling the YMCA on East Avenue home for the next few weeks, McDuffie said. The group was playing at Charles Upson and before that at the city Youth and Recreation building on Willow Street. The city is loaning its chess sets for the club to use.
Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.