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Checkmate: DPSCD Chess Students Increase

Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) is proud of its role in sparking the growth of chess in our schools districtwide, part of DPSCD’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Enrichment activities that also includes academic games and robotics.  

The rise of DPSCD’s students participating in chess was on display at the recent State Club Chess tournament in Lansing, Michigan. A record 73 DPSCD students competed in the event that featured 300 K-12 students from across the state. And there were several DPSCD students who excelled during the competition.  

Among the standouts were  Bates Academy fifth grader Dylan Key and Chrysler Elementary School fifth grader Mekhi Howard, who each won four out of their five games. Also rising was a trio of Cass Technical High School students: Abdurrahman Bayi (12th grade), Harper Jackson (11th grade) and Daniel Randon (9th grade) who won three and a half games.   

The resurgence of chess in DPSCD schools has been particularly satisfying for Kevin Fite, Assistant Director in the District’s Office of Curriculum and Instruction. A member of the Michigan Chess Hall of Fame who was also instrumental in bringing the Michigan Elementary Team Chess Championship to Cass Tech in 2020 and again this year, Fite is gushing with enthusiasm over the growth of chess being played by DPSCD students and its positive impact on them.  

“I am very excited to see that chess is growing again in DPSCD,” said Fite. “It is so wonderful to see all this brain power being used by our students and seeing them compete at such a high level.”  

If your student is interested in playing chess, the process of doing so is easy. Simply reach out to your child’s principal at your school and they in turn will contact Kevin, who founded the Detroit City Chess Club in 2003 and has grown it into one of the largest chess clubs in the country. For additional chess play with the Detroit City Chess Club, you can visit the Detroit Institute of Arts on Friday’s between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.  

Whether through STEM Enrichment activities such as chess, academic games, or robotics, as well as with expanded after school programming through the Whole Child Commitment Initiative, DPSCD provides opportunities for your child to rise. Please visit the District’s home page for more information. DPSCD, the future is rising!