Desmoine Bennett, Stone Mountain resident, chess player, wins Be Someone Community Tournament – On Common Ground News
Top in the photo: First place winner Desmoine Bennet, 14 years old
Bas LR: second place winner Marcus Harris, 9, and third-place winners Steve Sadiq, 9, and David “DJ” Dorsey, 14
STONE MOUNTAIN, GA– Desmoine Bennett, 14, knocked out all of his competitors in a chess tournament hosted by Orrin “Checkmate” Hudson, founder of the DeKalb County-based Be Someone mentorship program. The Be Someone program uses chess to train and teach life skills to students.
Bennett, a Champion Middle School student, stood out in the online tournament as the only woman to compete in the male-dominated event. She won the first prize of $175, as well as a chessboard and other prizes.
“She (Bennett) has a mind for chess. One day she will be great. She played me and almost took me out,” Hudson said.
The tournament, held in May, culminated Hudson’s 8-week “Chess for Success” online spring camp, which was offered free to DeKalb County youth ages 6-18 by the through the DeKalb Youth Services Office.
Hudson said the camp is open to both boys and girls and is excited to welcome more and more girls who want to not only learn to play chess, but also want to compete.
“I train students to be critical thinkers. They learn to become world-class chess players. I hope to take them to the World Chess Tournament on July 4, 2022, which will be held in Philadelphia,” Hudson said.
Marcus Harris, 9, won the tournament’s second prize of $125 and $100 for a rap contest titled “Get in the Game.” Harris is a student at Evansdale Elementary School in DeKalb and has been playing chess for about a year, Hudson said.
Hudson said two students placed third in the tournament and each won $75:
Steve Sadiq, 9, a student at Sagamore Hills Primary School. Sadiq has been playing chess for about a year, Hudson said.
Homeschooler David “DJ” Dorsey, 14, was introduced to the game of chess at the Sue Kellogg Library in DeKalb County. Dorsey was around 8 years old when he started playing chess, his mother said.
“We had some really dynamic kids in the program. This is an opportunity for them to learn and have fun. They can participate in the tournament if they want, but it’s not mandatory,” Hudson said.
Hudson is currently accepting registrants for the “Chess for Success” camp, which began June 5. He said the free camp will end on July 31 with a chess tournament, offering cash and other goodies.
More information is available from DeKalb Youth Services offices: