Kids v Cops: A Seattle Chess “Rumble”

words and pictures by Susan Fried

On Tuesday, May 22 at Van Asselt Elementary School, ten kids under 12 schooled seven Seattle Police Officers in the 2nd annual Detective “Cookie” Bouldin’s Urban Youth Chess Club “Kids vs. Cops” Chess Rumble Tournament. To be fair, several of the officers were new to the game or had very little experience, while some of their competitors had been playing for almost a third of their lives. Of course, that is because the kids started when they were four or five and now they are between six and eleven years old.

Chess 11-1

The competitors faced off across chess boards made from recycled scrap wood. The boards were fabricated by some of the inmates at Stafford Creek Prison who donated 20 boards to the Chess Club a few years ago and included a “What if…” story with each one to encourage the kids to work hard in school and make good choices in life. Over the 11-year history of Detective “Cookie” Bouldin’s brainchild, hundreds of kids have learned to play chess, made new friends, and become part of a community.

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The chess “rumble” with the police officers provides an opportunity for the kids and community to have a positive interaction with law enforcement, and despite the fact that the kids took no mercy on the Seattle Police Officers, winning 35 out of the 40 matches, everyone had a good time.

Chess 23-1

Trophies were awarded for 1st through 6th Place with the 6th place trophy going to the only Seattle Police officer who won two games. All the other trophies went home with the kids.

The cops vowed to return the next year a little better prepared.

Chess 22-1

Chess 26-1

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Chess 7-1

Chess 4-1

Chess 25-1

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3 thoughts on “Kids v Cops: A Seattle Chess “Rumble””

  1. I can’t help but read this article over and over again. It is so very well written and the pictures are wonderful. Thank you Susan Fried for your wonderful support of our community. I have seen you at just about every community event taking pictures and making sure our community gets positive media coverage. Also a big thank you to Marcus Green for supplying us with such a wonderful news outlet as the South Seattle Emerald.
    Detective Cookie

  2. Detective Cookie,
    You are the one we all owe a great big debt of gratitude. Just how many kids have you made comfortable being around one of Seattle’s finest. How many of they do better in school because they have learned to think and plan ahead because of your exposing them to chess. Thanks to you and all the fine officers who came to play with them, everyone one of the kids knows police are good caring people. That is even if they are not very good at chess. Thank you for what you do.

    Fred Quarnstrom

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