Ad Spot

October 23, 2021

Using chess, Eugene Brown visits Power Cross to show kids importance of making right decisions

SALISBURY – Eugene Brown is bringing life experience and chess knowledge to the boys at Power Cross this week.

Brown, a Washington D.C. native, has been teaching children how to play chess for decades. He first picked up the game in a community chess program and found himself playing a lot of chess while serving 18 years in federal prison.

Brown robbed a bank when he was 20, and after his release, he dedicated himself to reaching out to at-risk youth like himself to keep them from making the same mistakes. Brown uses the game to teach kids about choices and thinking before they make a decision.

His program,”From Pawns to Kings and Queens,” is geared toward helping children understand the importance of thinking before they move. He said there are parallels between chess and life that make it a good teaching tool, noting the importance of strategy in the opening, middle and end-game.

His story was chronicled on the big screen in 2013 when he was portrayed by Cuba Gooding Jr. in “Life of a King.”

Brown is at the Salisbury Power Cross Ministries campus this week, working with the children to give them a crash course in the game. He is giving them more than the basics on how different pieces move.

On Wednesday, during a brief lesson about using the knight, Brown talked through the quirks of the piece: its unique ability to jump other pieces and it’s L-shaped movement. He also showed them the power of the knight if they make good use of it by demonstrating the piece can cover huge swaths of the board from the center, but its movement is constricted when it is on the edge.

Power Cross Coach E’Kiah Gillespie said the game is showing the boys how acting without thinking leads to undesirable results. In chess it is obvious: acting without thought often results in a loss.

Gillespie said the competitive nature of chess is a good motivator for the children.

“If it’s not competitive, they just kind of shrug their shoulders and it’s not that important,” Gillespie said.

Dermyis Sloan, a sixth-grader at Knox Middle School, said he did not know anything about chess before this week. He now enjoys it and wants to keep playing.

“It could help me be better at thinking and it’s fun to play,” Sloan said.

Salisbury Campus Director Shane Ridgeway said Power Cross Ministries helps children aged 7 and older with athletics training for football, basketball and baseball as well as academic assistance and spiritual guidance.

The programs, including meals, are free for families.

Ridgeway said the program brought in chess instruction because the organization tries to expose students to new experiences.

“There’s strategies, and what Mr. Brown does, he brings that strategy and that skillset to life for them,” Ridgeway said.



City, Bell Tower Green Inc. sign agreement formally handing over maintenance responsibilities

High School

East holds off South for homecoming victory


NC unemployment on 12-month streak of lower rates

High School

High school football: West comes up just short against Concord


FDA says Pfizer COVID vaccine looks effective for young kids


Warrant: Baldwin didn’t know weapon contained live round


Blotter: Man charged with breaking into used car dealership, stealing Ford Mustang


Kannapolis man charged with accidentally killing foster brother


Renting out Wrenn House is next on menu for Bell Tower Green Park


City to purchase, replace floating aerator devices for wastewater treatment


NC Community College president details importance of connection between businesses, educational institutions


Sheriff: Alec Baldwin fired prop gun on movie set that killed woman


CDC panel recommends expanded COVID-19 vaccine booster rollout


Truck driver killed after collision with school bus in Newton


Iredell County man charged with murder after three bodies found in burned Statesville house


Massive search for Laundrie ends as FBI identifies remains in Florida


Nation’s largest barn quilt mural to be unveiled in Cleveland on Saturday


Charlotte among six schools joining American Athletic Conference


Few details available after Kannapolis shooting claims life


East Spencer apparel store will host free luncheon for Breast Cancer Awareness Month


Catawba College receives record $200 million contribution to endowment


Blotter: Bullet holes found at Salisbury home


Rowan Sheriff’s Office releases details of NASCAR driver’s assault at coworker’s home


Council candidates discuss city’s handling of ‘Fame’ relocation, protesting, pandemic