CHANDLER, Ariz. - The game chess has always been popular, but its popularity has grown significantly since the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, one local chess champion has started his own website to teach others.
Chandler teen Sandeep Sethuraman started his website just a few months ago as a way to share his passion with other kids, while also giving back to the community. Sethuraman's love for chess began when he was five.
"My grandma taught me the rules, so after that, we moved to Arizona and I started playing at a local chess club," said Sethuraman.
Not long after that, Sethuraman headed to the state championship, where he won. Things took off from there, and he became the national master champion.
"I started playing every day, every week," said Sethuraman. "Once I got into the 8th, 9th grade, I got this idea of giving back to the community through chess, and I decided that a fundraiser would be a good way to do it."
Sethuraman started the Chess Effect, and created his own website. Through there, he started tournaments in order to raise funds.
"I thought doing a fundraiser based on chess would be a great way to spread chess through the community, and get more people involved in playing the game," said Sethuraman.
Sethuraman raised $900 for Arizona Helping Hands, a non-profit organization that provides essential services to children in foster care.
"I’m planning on doing more of these fundraising tournaments, like every six months or at least once every year," said Sethuraman. "I’m also planning on giving free lessons if anyone comes and takes them through my website."
Sethuraman says through chess, he’s learned many important life lessons. Lessons he hopes others can pick up as well.
"When you lose -- you’re going to lose eventually and you need to come back stronger next time. You can’t dwell on your losses. You have to move on, and also it’s taught me to kind of think ahead," said Sethuraman.
Sethuraman plans to expand and host lessons on twitch this summer.
The Chess Effect
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