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Benefits of Chess to Family Court – Juvenile Division

Photo by Austin Fuller.

by Kathryn S. Herman, Assistant Court Administrator/Juvenile Officer


Mr. Chen [Scholastic Coordinator], I wanted to take a moment and mention our appreciation of your efforts on our behalf here at the Family Court in the City of St. Louis. We are filled with gratitude over the generosity that the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL) has shown the Family Court – Juvenile Division.  The CCSCSL has been extremely generous in donating chess sets and chess clocks for use by the children who are detained at our court awaiting their court hearing.  But more importantly, in value that cannot be measured, the CCSCSL has donated their time.  Under your guidance Mr. Chen, we have been the beneficiary of visits by Chess Grandmasters Maurice Ashley and Kateøina Nìmcová where all the youth in our center played against the Grandmasters in succession as the grandmasters moved from one youth to the next, one chess move at a time.  It was truly fascinating.  We do not have funding in our meager budget for this type of thing and your donation of items, but mostly of your precious time makes this program fully available to the youth.  Your generosity has even allowed us to extend this benefit to youth in our evening reporting center by allowing us to bring those youth to your center where they can participate on site with others in the chess community.


Being  involved in the world of chess surrounds youth with people who are  like-minded, helping to shield them from negative peer influence.  The skills  and  abilities  that  are  honed in learning the game of chess will serve the  youth well in life, far beyond the game itself.  Youth learn to think  ahead,  plan  many  steps in front of them beyond just the very next step  they may take, and think about the consequences of each decision they make  in life.  These are skills that will serve youth well, far beyond the chess board.  I am thrilled that our children are playing this game.


The  CCSCSL continue to share your  valuable time with the youth in our Detention Center.  Please express our  gratitude  to  the  founders  of the Club, Mr. and Mrs. Rex and Jeanne Sinquefield, for their vision and generosity.