Earlier this year there were fears that the Chess Club might be discontinued, but it appears that one Westford Academy freshman has been able to checkmate those concerns.
Fourteen-year-old Lorenzo Sanchez was already affiliated with the Chess Club at Westford Academy, but he and fellow Westford Academy chess enthusiast Varun Palnati helped continue the club at Roudenbush after former leader Ron Cahill couldn’t continue his duties keeping the club running.
Palnati and Sanchez have had great interest in the game by participating in local tournaments, but their role in saving the Roudenbush club partially comes a love for playing the game and partially comes for trying to introduce the game to younger players and building volunteering experience for college applications.
“My mom got an e-mail that the chess club was shut down if nobody took over,” he said. “I’m looking to get more kids interested, because chess is really good for critical thinking skills.”
The continuation of the club at Roudenbush has helped foster other clubs in the area, such as the new club at the Groton Day School in Groton.
Pepperell resident Denene Primus has been bringing her children McKenna and Duncan to Roudenbush over the past few weeks, and believes her kids have been inspired to start a similar club of their own back home during the week.
“I think the whole thing is just finding someone to take the time to organize it,” said Primus. “If you organize it, people will come.”
The group meets on Friday nights. More information on the Chess Club and other events at Roudenbush is available on their website.
This story was chosen for the Huffington Post's Greatest Person of the Day segment on April 26, 2012.