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Adults, children and congregation members gathered in the basement of St. Philips Baptist Church, located at 77 Bennett St., Port Richmond, for the 11th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. chess and checker tournament on Monday.

Deacon Bernice Alleyne started the tradition after going to a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration program years ago, where she learned that he was an avid chess player. She thought that holding a chess tournament would be a great way to celebrate his birthday and get younger children involved.

Dr. Tony Baker, pastor of St. Philips Baptist Church, said it is a good way to remind the children that everybody can be great. He added that he wants to remind the kids what King means to the community, “but beyond that what he means to the world.”

In addition to chess, the children could also play checkers and a black history matching game, which helped to teach about prominent black figures in history in a fun, engaging way.

The tournament was broken up into three age brackets: 12 and under; 13 to 17; 18 and over. First and second place trophies were awarded in each age bracket, as well as certificates of participation for other players.

Terrell Worne, 16,
floral doc martens Chess tournament honors Dr
has been undefeated in chess for the past four years; he learned how to play chess from a teacher in an after school program when he was in fourth grade.

“Martin Luther King Jr. thought logically, and that’s how you play chess, that’s what it’s about,” Worne said.

When asked if “he had a dream,” Worne said he wants to go to college and study technology.

Seven year old twins Layla and Leana were practicing checkers at a table before the tournament started.

“We don’t know how to play chess so we just play checkers with each other,” Layla said.

“But I’m better,” Leana chimed in.

Leana said her dream is to open up her own beauty salon with multiple floors.

“The first floor will be a hair salon, then you walk up the stairs and the second floor you can get your nails done, and then you walk up the stairs again and you can get your makeup done,” she explained.

Layla said she wants to become an actress and act alongside Dove Cameron, her favorite actress.

Members of the congregation, some wearing shirts depicting King’s face that read “I have a dream,” supervised the children as they played, while others were in the kitchen cooking hamburgers, hot dogs and other foods to help the competitive appetites.
floral doc martens Chess tournament honors Dr

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