Gadsden, AL — Orrin “Checkmate” Hudson, a national chess champion, motivational speaker, and the founder of Atlanta-based Be Someone, Inc., recently traveled to Gadsden, Alabama to host a week-long training program with local elementary and middle school students. The goal, according to Hudson, was to “make math, science and logic come alive” and to use the game of chess to teach kids the only way to fight is to use your head. “Heads up, pants up, grades up and never give up,” he taught them.
Hudson comments, “Through the game of chess, I am helping these children to engineer an amazing future for themselves by teaching them pattern recognition. Once you learn pattern recognition, it allows you to predict results and you can position yourself to win. It can be applied in chess and in life!”
During his training, Hudson used a life size chess board as well as individual chess boards for each student. As a former Alabama state trooper, he believes “prevention is better than detention” and uses his program as a proactive approach to teach kids. “Every move you make has a consequence just like in the game of chess. But life is more than a game,” he says. “You must make the right moves.”
The seventh of 13 children, Hudson grew up in public housing in Birmingham, Alabama, finding himself in and out of foster care. As a teenager, he was stealing tires and struggling in school until James Edge, his high school English teacher, taught Hudson the game of chess. Chess helped improve Hudson’s focus, and helped him develop the analytical thinking skills needed to make the winning move. He went on to win the Birmingham City Chess Championship in 1999, and again in 2000, despite being the lowest-ranking player in the tournament on both occasions.
Hudson uses his story and his knowledge of chess to inspire young people all over the world. He trained thousands of students all over the country, and has even trained overseas in the Philippines and India. “Think it out, don’t shoot it out. Peace over violence, and brains before bullets,” is just one of the catch phrases he uses to challenge students to make the right moves and choices that can position them for success in life.
To bring Orrin to your city or to learn more about his program, visit www.besomeone.org
MUST SEE VIDEO: www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBSGGw4HbvA
Be Someone, Inc.
Coordinator, Community Education
Gadsden City Schools