Thinking ahead

Various community activity and outreach programs play a role to decrease and prevent crime and violence. An educational activity such as chess can play a vital role to empower and uplift a community and to keep children from the streets, away from drugs, alcohol, violence and other criminal activities.

Chess can be used in 3 ways as a community activity program:

  • asset-oriented youth development
  • community and social development
  • crime and violence prevention

How can chess help you to develop a life skill such as thinking ahead to fight crime?

  • In chess the learners are taught to think ahead and not just to make any move. Every move you make on the chess board must count – from the very first move in the opening game right through the middle game till the very last move in the end game you must think ahead. If not, the game is over and you are in checkmate! The same applies to fighting crime in communities. The criminals want to take ground of the “neighbourhood chess board” through their criminal moves, such as pushing drugs to school children. Developing the skill of thinking ahead can help our children to make the right moves and not become involve in drugs and drug related criminal activities.

In Diagram 1 white moved her pawn from square g2 to g4. Black capitalised on white’s bad choice and moved her Queen to g4 to put white in checkmate!

Diagram 1

What should white have done to prevent checkmate? By thinking ahead and weighing-up a few options she should have moved her pawn from square g2 to g3 (Diagram 2). Black’s Queen would then not be able to execute Qh4++.

Diagram 2

Why is it so important to think ahead in real life as in chess?

  • If you do not think ahead and make the wrong moves (choices), such as taking drugs, the game is over and you are in checkmate! Drug abuse has both legal and health consequences!

Push chess pieces, not drugs! Do not lose the game of life through crime checkmate! Do not let crime checkmate you, checkmate crime! Think ahead!

  • A chess set in every classroom in every school in every community – a child who can’t pay must be able to play!
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