More than a dozen students attended the first meeting of the Lincolnville Central School Chess Club Thursday, Jan. 23.

Participants ranged from second- through fifth-grade, from absolute beginners to experienced players. Principal Paul Russo said students had been coming to the library before school started in the morning to play, so parent volunteer Ron Hise offered to start the club and coach players.

Russo said last year's eighth-grade class donated a dozen boards and chess sets to the school. He said even the younger elementary school students could develop the ability to think ahead that is at the heart of chess. He hopes the club can have a tournament by the end of the year.

Third-grader Liliana Palise-Simmons said, “I thought it would be cool,” to learn to play chess, and fifth-grader Kevin Bergelin volunteered that he had a Red Sox vs. Yankees chess set, and has beaten his dad.

Mikayla Talbot, who is in second-grade, had perhaps the best reason for joining the club. “I'm a big fan of chess,” she said.