Barbers host 6 week “Chess Challenge” for local youth

"Barbers on Duty" started a program that teaches kids how to play chess.

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – After hearing the video game Grand Theft Auto was inspiring the lives of his students, barber Daude Harrell decided to change the game by asking kids to trade in their joysticks for pawns.

“I teach in Houston County as a barber instructor,” Harrell said. “I was teaching my life skills portion of my course, and I went around the classroom and I asked them what game resembled life to them, and almost every kid in that class said GTA (Grand Theft Auto).”

“I said man I’ve got to introduce chess because it’s a strategic game,” Harrell explained. “It teaches you to think your moves out. There’s just so many benefits to playing this game that I can go on and on, but one thing I do know for sure is that it does help you with your critical thinking and thinking things out.”

Harrell’s non-profit organization “Barbers on Duty” is hosting a six-week chess challenge for kids.

The challenge began Monday, but Harrell is still looking for at least 20 more kids to make up several other teams.

His son, Ojore Harrell, will be on a team and help coach others. He says although kids his age do not typically play chess, he would love for more kids in his community to learn the game.

“I bring my board to school sometimes, and it’s probably like three people that know how to play,” Ojore explained. “It’s a great game and many people should learn how to play.”

Barbers on Duty says you do not need any experience playing chess or any knowledge of the game to sign up. They are encouraging kids eight and older to get involved. The group typically meets at the Rosa Jackson Center during after school hours.

The challenge is free for kids to join. For more information call 478-320-4072.

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