Young chess players are not rook-ies
Game of wits popular with local children, parents


June 7, 2008

WAUKESHA - Before the chess tournament pitting children against adults began Wednesday night, Roshan Wijetunge, 10, was not practicing his moves on a chess board, but playing with the other youngest members of the Waukesha Chess Club in the parking lot of the Eagles Club.

“It’s fun and it’s challenging playing in long games,” said Wijetunge, of Wauwatosa. “When you’re playing different kids, you can make different friends.”

Jim Nickell, president of the Waukesha Chess Club, said he is happy for the “influx” of children in the club.

“We’re glad to see these youngsters because this is the future of the club,” he said as he processed paperwork for Wednesday’s tournament, which will last several weeks. “It helps us and it helps them.”

Wijetunge learned how to play chess three years ago from his parents, and he said the game has helped him in school.

“I connect more things in school to chess, like math,” Wijetunge said.

Katherine Michalets can be reached at

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