By LIZ HARDAWAY
PORT CHARLOTTE — Kyle Greilick, 7, learned how to play chess just a month ago.
And on Saturday he was in a tournament, playing 35-minute games against his peers, focusing on the checkered board, and deciding where to place his pawn next.
He learned after a youth basketball program a the Harold Avenue recreational center from Recreational Specialist Paul Burdziakowski.
“It’s hard for somebody this young to learn,” Burdziakowski said.
However, Greilick thinks he’s gotten better with experience and can even teach his friends.
Greilick was one of the dozens of kids and adults that participated in Saturday’s chess tournament, held at Harold Avenue Regional Park Recreational Center.
Though at the last minute the tournament ended up not being a rated one, the center plans to have a rated tournament the next time around, depending on registered participants.
Anyone was welcome to participate Saturday, from beginners to advanced, ranked champions.
“This is an inclusive activity that anyone can do,” said Lonne Moore, the center’s recreation supervisor. Plus, kids can play with their parents when they get back home, and it’s a screen-free activity.
The recreational center will have additional chess tournaments Aug. 18, Sept. 15 and Oct. 20.
Call 941-627-1074 for more information.