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Summer Knights Chess Camp underway in Madison

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MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) - The Summer Knights Chess Camp started Wednesday morning at Rainbow Elementary School in Madison, with 88 campers in grades K-12.

The camp provides classes to players at every level and offers them a chance to sharpen their skills before the start of the school year.

It's run by the Madison City Chess League, which formed in July 2013 to give students more opportunities to play.

The league meets every Monday from 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. at the Hogan Family YMCA. This summer, a weekly Girls Chess Night was also started.

It's all part of a growing chess movement in Madison.

International Chess Master Danny Rensch is one of the camp instructors. He's also vice-president of ChessKid.com, which is offered to every Madison City student who is in elementary school, enrolled in the middle school chess elective or on a middle school chess team.

Rensch says, "Madison City is actually really kind of progressive in their application of using chess both the online software and everything they're doing in the classroom. That's not being done in very many places."

As for why educators and others are so passionate about bringing chess to these students, Madison City Chess League's Executive Director Ranae Bartlett says, "it helps kids with logic, analysis, critical thinking, problem solving. These are things we want all of our kids to do."

To learn more about the Madison City Chess League, including weekly meetups, you can visit the group's website or Facebook page.