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First Moves / Chess news from around the U.S.


FACES ACROSS THE BOARD


By AL LAWRENCE


WALKER GRIGGS


OBERLIN COLLEGE, OHIO


16 PanAm games without a loss


The Pearl Special Needs Foundation was Gandhi’s first stop during his Indian chess journey. Shrey is in the striped shirt.


Life Master Walker Griggs not only helped put to- gether this year’s PanAms, he sang the National Anthem a cappella at its opening—and then led host-school Oberlin College to the best small college award, as he’s done for three years in a row. “We have a small program, but an amazing and enthu- siastic coach, Constantine Ananiadis,” he said. “We’ll only continue to grow.” A junior, Walker doesn’t get much opportunity to play but makes the most out of the December college championships. “I have a small streak going”—stretching back to the second round in 2013. Although Walker plays a variety of instruments and has performed in concerts and musicals, his main interest is language. After his team took the trophy in Cleveland, Walker headed to Russia, to stay with a host family before beginning the academic year at Saint Petersburg State Uni- versity. “Chess fostered my love of Russian culture, and now I’m a Russian major living in Petersburg!”


KALIND PARISH Gandhi’s visit included Apang Manav Mandar, an all-day hostel for disabled children.


UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA


Wasn’t sure about en passant but started the club


Josh (standing) demonstrating a Paul Morphy game for the Kwapitela students. “I examined my chess databases for a game that would be suitable for beginners, as I wanted to show them an example of an actual game and notation,” explained Josh.


Now a JD-Ph.D. student at Penn State, Kalind founded the Oberlin College Chess Clubs four years ago. Parish admits he “didn’t even know all the rules of chess or notation,” but that didn’t stop him. “I walked into The Slow Train Café and found Constantine Ananiadis, the college women’s tennis coach, sitting at a chess board,” Kalind said. “I asked him if there was a chess team.” There wasn’t, but Kalish had bumped into the man who would help him make things happen. “He spends so much free time developing the club ... he teaches chess and spearheaded the 2015 PanAm. He’s an amazing man.” The club has competed in the last four PanAms, hosted the Ohio State Championships, runs two after-school chess programs, and brought the first PanAm to Cleveland since 1958. “We were hosting the biggest collegiate tournament less than four years after starting the club. During the first round, Mr. Ananiadis and I sat there in a state of shock.”


www.uschess.org 11


AT THE PAN


AMS!


PHOTOS: SOUTH AFRICA BY CELYNE CAMEN; INDIA COURTESY OF GANDHI FAMILY


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