Three Queens to Rule Them All: South Side Chicago School Crowned State Chess Champs

Illustration for article titled Three Queens to Rule Them All: South Side Chicago School Crowned State Chess Champs
Screenshot: ABC 7 Chicago

Ten years ago, St. Ethelreda, a majority-black co-ed Catholic school on Chicago’s South Side, was close to being shuttered due to low enrollment. Now, the school is sitting on top, thanks to the performance of three chess champions.


Shakira Luster, Trechelle Williams, and Imani Hall were greeted with raucous cheers from their fellow students this week as they walked down the hall with their hard-earned trophies. The three girls each placed in the top 10 of the state tournament last month, securing St. Ethelreda’s place as the top chess team in Illinois, reports ABC 7 Chicago.

“Chess, all chess. No running, no nothing—[just] sitting down, looking at a board, figuring out what’s the best move,” Imani told reporters about her vigorous training regiment (wearing a crown, no less!).


“We always thought we were the best chess team, but now that we have the trophy, it’s proved,” said Trechelle.

Their coach, Eric Luster, and principal Dr. Denise Spells credited the community with rallying behind the team—and the school.

Spells told ABC 7, “It’s what you do in school to build the community—a community of family, a community of love, a community of students who believe they can conquer the world if they set their minds to it.”

Staff writer, The Root.

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This one got me. The little kids cheering. Their beginner chess class will be overflowing with little girls with stars in their eyes.

I used to play. But it was eventually sort of stressful as in a one on one competition like that I really hate to lose. Now I play duplicate bridge, which is perfect. If you’ve never played think spades, but any suit can be trump or there can be no trump suit at all and its decided by the bidding and when you’re done playing and scoring a hand you put your cards in this holder thing and hand it to the next table so they can play the same hand. You’re competing both with the opponents at your table to win more tricks/books during the hands you play but also against the people playing your same hand at other tables - so not so much pure luck about which team got dealt good cards by chance and instead of sandbagging as the imprecise way to deal with the random chance of the deal there are others playing the exact same hand and your score is compared to those playing your same hand.

Hmm seem to have gone off topic a bit :P