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ChessFest” is coming! This unique September Lakewood event, according to organizers, will inspire young people to think ahead, plan, execute and utilize the components of chess to sharpen the mind and motivate them to become someone special.

One of the driving forces behind the special event is former Alabama State Trooper Orrin Hudson, who is the founder of “Be Someone,” a Stone Mountain, Georgia-based non-profit crime prevention program aimed at the youth of America. Hudson says, “The program teaches self-esteem, responsibility and analytical thinking skills to youth through numerous tools, including the game of chess.”

Chessfest will be held September 29, starting at noon to 4.p.m. at Calvary Lighthouse 1133 E County Line Road Lakewood, NJ 08701 and is open to youth under 18. There will be a variety of sessions throughout the afternoon designed for beginners and intermediate players. “We will not only teach them to play chess but we will teach them that the principles that make a successful chess player – primarily there is a consequence for every decision – plan and strategize and make the right moves for success, even in the game of life,” Hudson stresses.

Judge Daniels has been teaching chess since 1978 and is a United States Chess Federation certified coach. He was the first African American Judge in Ocean County’s history. He consistently is a guest speaker at and is involved in numerous youth efforts.

Hudson calls Judge Daniels a “role model for youth and adults alike.” He explains, “We met and right away I saw we shared the same passion to positively impact our youth to help them reach their full potential and we both love chess and see how it can be used to teach life lessons.”

Judge Daniels says, “Every move you make in life has consequences, just as your move on the chess board does.” He adds, “I believe people can use whatever talent they have to help our youth and help people in general, so I share the phrase, ‘Use what is in your hands.’ This means, use whatever you can share to touch another life.” In this instance “what is in his hand” are the strategies and skills in the game of chess.

Orrin “Checkmate” Hudson explains that at the age of 15 he was destined for a life of crime and social welfare. However, a teacher introduced him to the chess board and his life was transformed. Since leaving his full time state trooper’s position in 1992, he has touched numerous young lives; turning many around. As he says, he has been “relentless” in his pursuit of reaching more and more young people in an effort to repay a simple kindness that changed him.

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