Focused on Mississippi: Franklin Chess Center

Focused on Mississippi

MEADVILLE, Miss. (WJTV) – My wife and I recently finished the Netflix series “The Queen’s Gambit,” and it was a fascinating watch. I never imaged a story centered around the game of chess could pull me in like that. One community in Mississippi felt the same way about chess a few years ago.

Meadville is the county seat of Franklin County, named for Benjamin Franklin. He made an observation that life is like a game of chess. Unrelated to him is a building in downtown Meadville. Inside the Franklin Chess Center are students who, over the past several years, have taken a keen interest in the game of chess.

A benefactor, who chooses to remain anonymous, secured the services of Dr. Jeff Bulington to come to Meadville to teach chess, with the idea that learning the strategies of the game might bleed over into the rest of life and give any participant who applies themselves to it insights into becoming successful at anything else.

What are those principles of chess that apply to living life? Well first of all, get in the game.

“Well the ultimate goal is to checkmate your opponent, but there are many other goals that come first. Get your pieces out and to use them. And keep your king safe and so forth. Minimize weaknesses in your position and create weaknesses in your opponents position,” explained Bulington.

Get on the board. Use what you have. And as far and checkmating your opponent? Don’t rule out that you may be your biggest opponent.

The young chess players in Franklin County have applied their lessons to other areas of their lives, increasing their grades. Life is like a game of chess. Get on the board. We will all make each other better for it. 


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