(May 24, 2013) — “I enjoyed giving the kids what I’ve learned, and passing on the knowledge,” said Boris Kitapszyan, a former state champion chess player. Over the course of the year, Kitapszyan honed his skills in teaching the ancient game of chess, culminating in his hosting a tournament for young children at the AAA Chess Club in Glendale..
Kitapszyan was inspired to focus on chess as his topic because of his long-standing interest in the game. For many years, Kitapszyan has been playing chess on both the amateur and competitive level. “I have a bunch of trophies,” Kitapszyan said. “I’ve played in over 80 tournaments nationwide.”
For his fieldwork at the AAA Chess Club, Kitapszyan taught young children the basics of chess in organized classes, eventually working up to advanced strategies and chess theories. “It involved organizing, scheduling, and a lot of computer work,” Kitapszyan said. “I gave the kids worksheets.”
Although the senior project may have come to a close, Kitapszyan has continued to follow his passion for the game of chess and continues to promote the game. In addition to hosting a chess tournament, Kitapszyan created a promotional video for the AAA Chess Club which he hopes will help draw more young children to learn the rules and strategies behind chess. “I hoped to get kids interested in brain-stimulating activities such as chess,” Kitapszyan said.
Although the project was entertaining to him, it also provided him with an opportunity to expand his knowledge of chess, a knowledge which for Kitapszyan, has become lucrative. “I’ve earned over $5,000 playing chess,” he said. “I’ve acquired the title of California State Champion twice.” According to Kitapszyan, however, the biggest benefit he received from his senior project is simply teaching others how to play the game he has come to love.