Veteran Chess Player Teaches ‘Patience and Strategy’ with Labor Day Weekend Tournament

DELRAY BEACH, Fla .– “Life is like a game of chess” is a popular phrase, but to a man in Delray Beach, it’s a phrase he’s been teaching young people for two years and this week. -end, he recruits others with a free back-to-school tournament.

Willie James McCray, 71, has been playing chess since 1973. He said it distracted him from the issue of bad race relations in South Florida after the Civil Rights Era and helped him better understand patience and strategy.

Arthur Mondale

For the past two years he has provided the James’ Chess Club to youth in the historically Black West Settlers district of Delray, teaching young boys and teens how to play, respect their opponents and strategize for their future.

“I’ve applied the strategy of gambling to my life – it’s learning to lose to win,” said James. “Once you’ve learned how to lose, you can start to make lifestyle adjustments. But until you learn to lose, you can never win. Instead, there will be either someone else or some other influence controlling you.

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Arthur Mondale

On September 5, James is hosting a back-to-school tournament on Labor Day weekend for kids and adults. There will be cash prizes for the first, second and third places. No experience is necessary and anyone from the area is encouraged to attend. The tournament takes place at Libby Wesley Park in Delray Beach from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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