Champions' Game: Life lessons beyond the game of chess - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Champions' Game: Life lessons beyond the game of chess

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - Comparisons are often made between the game of life and the game of chess. It’s a game of patience and decisiveness and requires that you always look further than your next move.

Thanks to a passionate teacher and an involving chess program, middle schoolers in an underserved El Paso community are using the game of chess to better their lives and shock the world.

Saul Ramirez is an art teacher and the chess coach at Henderson Middle School in El Paso. He realized that his students have a passion and an energy that, if turned toward chess, could help them turn their lives around.

His program started in 2013 with 4 students, then grew to 12 in 2015, 36 in 2016 and now a grand total of nearly 100. One thing that helped fuel the consistent growth: Whooping the competition.

Since the team began, Ramirez’ students have captured six state championships and two national championships, often besting teams from private schools.

Ramirez, 32, wrote a book about the trials of his team when it was just 12 players deep, and talks about his students’ ups and downs along the way.

“Champions’ Game” is out now, and Ramirez is holding an autograph signing Tuesday at the Downtown Library from 3 p.m to 5 p.m.

Click here for more information on the autograph signing. Visit to buy Ramirez' book.

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