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Fourth annual Madison City Chess League challenge has a new home and a cool new element

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MADISON, Ala. -- Life is like a game of chess. Several Madison City students are equipping themselves by playing the game. The Madison City Chess League hosted their fourth annual chess league challenge where students play Madison community leaders.

These are the faces of the young men and women of our future, and we better watch out.

These smart and talented elementary school students participated in the fourth annual Madison City Chess League challenge.

"Chess teaches critical thinking skills that they need, attention to focus. My son will be a kindergartener next year, I'm excited for him to be in, participate in chess," said Rainbow Elementary Principal Brian Givens.

This year's event was held at the new Madison Public Library where the Madison City Chess League will now meet every Monday.

"Tonight was a fundraiser for the library, and in part was a thank you to the library for giving us a brand new home," said Madison City Chess League director Ranae Bartlett.

Another new addition this year was 12 simultaneous games between students of all ages and FIDE (Fédération Internationale des Échecs) Master Bradley Denton.

The elementary kids' opponents were members of the community, from school principals to former state senators and Madison Mayor Paul Finley.

"I had an opportunity to play chess with one of my students tonight. Didn't fare so well, but always look forward to coming and participating in this chess event every year," said Jamie Hill, Principal of Columbia Elementary School.

I didn't fare so well either while carrying on the WHNT tradition from David Kumbroch, who was defeated more than once. I felt like a contestant on 'Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader.' And my opponent, Caroline Wang, was in 4th grade.

My fatal move: "When your bishop to attack my queen," explained Caroline.

But the event is about the kids and teaching them skills that will forever help them succeed in life. "I like how it makes me think," Caroline said.

And sure there are lessons, but we didn't forget to ask the kids: Why do you love chess?

"Cause it's fun," Caroline answered.

This year none of the adults won their matches. Of the twelve matches, the FIDE Master defeated 11 students with one game ending in a draw. Madison City Chess League celebrates their fifth anniversary in July.