BUFFALO, N.Y. — Inside Dash's Market in North Buffalo, Elijah Rollerson spends his Tuesday and Thursday nights training the next grandmasters.
He wanted to provide something different for kids as they head into the summer: a new game, and advice you can take forever.
"Chess is a game of life. So if I can teach you some life lessons through chess to kind of help you in some way, it's a great teaching tool," Rollerson says.
So Rollerson started teaching the game at the Crucial Community Center seven years ago. At first, he only wanted five to 18-year-olds involved. That changed when he started his club, The Black Knight Chess Association.
Now Rollerson is teaching all ages the queen's gambit.
"That's one thing I love about the game. It's not about your age. It's your skill set," Rollerson says.
Rollerson currently has seven players on his team. Their ages are from 10 to 18 years old. He says they've competed in tournaments.
In the most recent one, his team came in third place. He says the wins started grabbing others' attention.
"Now they're interested. It is an old game, but I'm trying to help remove that stigma of being an old man's game," Rollerson says.
He's not stopping there because he's also looking to create scholarships.
If you're interested in joining, click his page here.