On Friday, October 25th, the Saint Louis Chess Club partnered with the Missouri Department of Youth Services (DYS) in hosting the 1st Annual St. Louis Cops Helping Enhance Student Skills (C.H.E.S.S) COPS/DYS chess tournament at the Saint Louis Chess Club. This event was put together to create an opportunity to build better community relationships between police officers and youth. It that and then some. It was an amazing and tightly contested event. It went from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M. Positivity permeated the air from start to finish. The mutually displayed sportsmanship was remarkable. There was handshaking, mentoring, laughter, and genuine fun throughout.
The chess tournament furthered each participating organizations beliefs, mottos, and missions. It is the mission of the Saint Louis Chess Club, an educational organization, to maintain a formal program of instruction to teach the game of chess and to promote and support its educational program through community outreach and local and national partnerships to increase the awareness of the educational value of chess.
The vision of th
e Missouri Division of Youth Services (DYS) is that every young person served by Missouri DYS will become a productive citizen and lead a fulfilling life. DYS’ core beliefs: People Can Change - People desire to do well and succeed -We are more alike than different - Change does not occur in isolation – youth need others.
C.H.E.S.S. Recognizes that improving police and youth relationships are vital. The nature and circumstances of these relationships have a significant and lasting impression on young people. Officers who build a good relationship with youth can be a strong, protective figure for them.
There were 30 total participants in the chess tournament. The participating DYS facilities were Hogan Street, Babbler Lodge, Bissell Hall, & Fort Belle. The participating law enforcement agencies were the St. Louis Police Department and the St. Louis County Police Department. There were 4 four rounds in the chess tournament. Each round each participant played a different person. If a participant won their match they went on to play another winner and so on. Each victory gained a point for the facility or officers. Whichever group had the most points at the end of 4 rounds was the victor. All the matches were extremely close and victory came down to the last match. In the end Hogan Street was victorious with a score of 17 points and the police officers had 16 1/2.
This was a truly incredible event. I can’t wait till next year!