A former chess champ is taking the game where you’d least expect it

Local News

Just imagine going into a restaurant, a mall, or even a bar and seeing a chess tournament breakout.  It may sound strange, but that’s exactly what Todd Wolf of Bismarck is doing.

“Anywhere that has a table. My wife gets upset because we walk into a restaurant and sit down and I’m looking around like how would this place work for a chess tournament,” says Wolf.  

Wolf is the 2015 state chess champion and president of the North Dakota Chess Association and holds various chess camps and lessons. All to promote the centuries-old game of strategy.

“I feel the more visible it is, the more attention it gets, the stronger the support is going to be. It helps improve thinking skills and it helps improve problem-solving skills,” Wolf notes. 

But Todd isn’t alone playing chess — he often times goes with his friends to play, such as Nate Speidel who is the chess coach at Shiloh Christian School.

“I think there is a stigma once in a while in North Dakota where you don’t want to be too different. I think it’s an example of self-expression and not being afraid to do something different,” says Speidel.

They get attention from everyone including tourists.

“Currently, I am on a road trip to see Mount Rushmore and national parks.  I came into the mall and I saw them playing and I thought I should join them. As for Todd, the game doesn’t stop. There is always a new opponent to meet and checkmate to be made,” says Luke Otting. 

Wolf is taking on all comers every Sunday at the Gateway Mall in the food court from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. 

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