Lauded Chess Program Loses Funding

In May 2008, we published a story about CMS's lauded, successful chess program. A week before school started, it lost its funding



Joshua Mu, profiled in our 2008 story, has since become North Carolina's top scholastic chess player.

Mike Hammer

Just a month ago, with the school year approaching, Rose Yen had a nice problem on her hands—chess in Charlotte was getting more and more popular.

Yen is president of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Scholastic Chess Association. Since the nonprofit started in 1985, it has grown to serve about 100 local teams, providing each with expert instructors who visit twice a month and sometimes once a week. Teams have numbered as high as 100 students. Over the summer, Yen says, additional clubs were asking for help, while existing ones wanted more time with instructors.

“That was kind of our biggest headache,” she says.

CMS is one of just a handful of districts in the country to fund extracurricular chess, and the results show. As detailed in a 2008 Charlotte magazine article, in recent years Charlotte has consistently excelled at state tournaments and boasted some of the state’s best young players. Joshua Mu of Myers Park High, who was the subject of that story, has since become North Carolina’s top scholastic player.

Just a week before school began, though, Yen received a call from the district with bad news: the CMSCA will no longer receive financial support after a round of budget cuts.

In the short term, Yen says, the association will exhaust its savings to pay for this year’s instruction, which will be dialed back to just monthly visits from instructors. Beyond that, things are up in the air. Charlotte’s thriving and competitive chess scene seems very much at risk.

“It’s like having a football team without coaches,” Yen says. “There’s no one really teaching them how to play the game properly and how to be competitive.”

The CMSCA is seeking donations, volunteers, and sponsorships. Donations can be made at cmsca.org/donate.php, and Yen can be reached at president@cmsca.org.
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Echo Foundation brings Elie Wiesel to Town

Students and Charlotte's elite alike turn out for inspiring Echo Foundation event, which featured Elie Wiesel and honored Leon and Sandra Levine

Oktoberfest Preview

Here's a look at Charlotte's preeminent beer festival, happening September 25

Travails of Travel

Seeing pretty places isn’t enough. When it comes to traveling, pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone makes the trip

The Business of Bigfoot

Casar, a small town at the edge of the South Mountains in North Carolina, has created fortune from its fifteen minutes of fame, when a resident claimed to have spotted Bigfoot

We invite your responses and discussion. Please refrain from personal attacks, profanity, commercial promotion, or non sequiturs.

Add your comment:
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Newsletters

Stay up-to-date on all things Charlotte by signing up for our newsletters. Learn more by clicking here.

Newsletter Sign Up
Email*
 
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module

Blogs »

Edit ModuleShow Tags


Dusk Till Dawn

Jared Misner Chronicles Charlotte's Nightlife and Social Scene, Straight No Chaser

Craft Cocktail Crawl, Metropolitan Avenue Progressive Dinner, First Friday in Fort Mill, No-Pants Ride and More, March 5-March 8

Comments


Charlotte at Home

Creating Your Space in the Queen City

Four Not-to-Miss Opportunities

In these final days of winter, enjoy an orchid display and brush up on your gardening and food-preservation skills

Comments


Poking the Hornet's Nest

Greg Lacour on Politics

Some Thoughts from a Monday Night in Charlotte

The Charlotte City Council hearing on LGBT protections brought out the community in all its ragged glory.

Comments


On Tap

Matt McKenzie on Craft Beer in Charlotte

Brawley’s Beverage hosting Wooden Robot release this Wednesday

Three Laws Black Saison is collaboration with Haw River Farmhouse Ales

Comments


Dine & Dish

News, Notes, and Gossip About the Charlotte Restaurant Scene

Blue Gets Peruvian

The 4th charity event benefiting Wellspring International will take place on March 13

Comments

Edit ModuleShow Tags