Johnny Capozzi has demonstrated his growing skills with the game of chess, while also getting his feet wet as a group leader at the same time.
Capozzi, 12, a member of Boy Scouts Pack 17, put together the annual chess tournament at the this week, a project to help him get a merit badge. His friend Bharadwaj Chirravuri, also 12-years-old and a fellow chess player and fellow Boy Scout, also took part in getting the tournament organized.
Every summer the library hosts a chess tournament for the kids, and also hosts a chess club that meets every week which both Johnny and Bharadwaj take part in. Johnny explained that the tournament was about fun not competition. He wanted the kids to have the opportunity to enjoy playing some more chess and enjoy eating some treats.
Johnny organized the entire event, pairing the kids who signed up to play against each other in two rounds. Since the younger children are at a different skill level than older children, he separated them into groups ages 7 to 9 and 10 to 13, he explained.
While the kids played chess, both Johny and Bharadwaj walked around the room helping some of the kids out with moves. They have both learned how to put aside being competitive in order to help fellow chess players learn the game. Johnny says if he can beat another kid in four moves or less he will show him or her how so he or she can learn from it.
Johnny and Bharadwaj still play competitively when they play each other, they laughed. Both have been playing the game for a number of years and are working towards getting better at it.
Marie Joyce, children’s librarian, says she hopes Johnny and Bharadwaj will someday soon take over as mentors helping with the chess club. The two young men who currently volunteer their time as mentors – Steve Certinanze and Keith Ellebracht will be graduating high school soon.