Overcoming illness, breakdowns and lost bags in Ohio, Minor Threats chess team brings home some metal

May 18, 2015

Minor Threats Chess Club’s coach, Jason Bui, sent us an update on the latest achievements by his students, who recently returned from the Elementary National Championships in Nashville, Tenn. and also participated in other chess championships this spring. We wrote about the club and its fundraising efforts earlier this year. The Minor Threats Chess Club is based at Mitchell Elementary School and its members are West Philly schoolchildren in grades 3 through 8.

It has been a loooong month for the Minor Threats Chess Club. We spent a total of 16 out of 32 days on the road from April to May. We had three very long bus rides. We had our bags lost in Ohio (don’t worry, we got them back). We broke down along the side of the turnpike on the way back from Louisville (everyone got home safe and sound). We had sick kids and parents. The kids never complained.

Syair was sick on Sunday in Nashville. He threw up before his first round. He went in and won and then came out and still couldn’t eat, took a nap, went in and won the last round of the day. He won his first Nationals trophy that weekend.


Derrick Moore, a 4th grader at Mitchell Elementary School, with a trophy. (Photo courtesy of Minor Threats Chess Club)

Junior High Nationals was Derrick’s first Nationals. He won his first individual trophy there.

The Philadelphia Chess Society (our super group consisting of Paul Robeson Chess Club, Minor Threats Chess Club, and Enon Connected Pawns) won 7 trophies at Elementary Nationals. Not bad for only having 13 kids playing.

These trips are amazing opportunities for our kids. They learn so much about the world, chess, and themselves. They get to see that there is a whole big world out there. They get to see that if they are brave and they are willing to work hard that nothing can hold them back.

I would not be able to take these kids on these trips without the support of people like you. THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!

2 Comments For This Post

  1. Lynn Major Says:

    CONGRATULATIONS, TEAM!! That is wonderful news!

  2. Jason Bui Says:

    Thank you WestPhillyLocal for the support! Thank you Lynn Major for the kind words. Thank you to everyone who donated.

    UPDATE: We are no longer based out of Mitchell. I work at Andrew Hamilton School now. I have kids in 2nd-8th grade living and going to school all over the city but mostly living in West and Southwest Philly.

    SHOUT OUT to all of the staff at the Kingsessing Library (51st and Kingsessing) where we practice. We’re there 4:30-6 most Tuesdays and will be there on Thursdays at the same time all Summer.

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