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Continued: In chess, a child can win (and will)

  • Article by: DENNIS J. MCGRATH , Star Tribune
  • Last update: November 10, 2013 - 9:08 AM

The field included a 40-year-old black doctor from Duluth, a 65-year-old Russian immigrant who settled in Burnsville, a black teen from St. Paul and another from north Minneapolis who recently won his division at a national scholastic tournament.

And every Thursday night at the Castle in northeast Minneapolis, a couple dozen players chat amiably before they get down to the business of trying to destroy each other’s best ideas. It’s a gathering that cuts across socioeconomic lines and one that you would be hard-pressed to find in any other room anywhere in the state. The weekly Thursday Knighter counts among its regulars a taxi driver, a retired CEO who has sat on the boards of U.S. Bank and Target, a merchant Marine sailor (when he’s on shore leave), a retired postal worker, a journalist, a 20-year-old enrolled in a work skills program, a van driver at a park-and-fly lot and the owner of a small window washing business.

The Thursday Knighter, by the way, is a refuge for those of us who have been pushing pieces for years but still can’t memorize more than a handful of moves of the main lines in the Nimzo-Indian opening. The games can run longer than four hours, pushing the endgames close to midnight and thus ridding the competition of many of the strongest players in the state.

They’re fast asleep — having already been read their bedtime stories.


Dennis J. McGrath is a regular at the Thursday Knighter at the Castle. He is the Star Tribune’s deputy digital editor.

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