“Checkmate!”

The exclamation comes from a novice chess player as he wins his first game of the day during Fort Bragg Chess Club at Throckmorton Library, Saturday.

Maxwell Haslim, 10, is that novice chess player and said he has attended six sessions of the Chess Club. He enjoys the club because it is a break from his normal chess routine.

“I actually get to play different people, not just a screen,” he said.

Haslim was one of 15 children and adults who attended Saturday’s Chess Club, which is led by Peter Lane, an active-duty Soldier.

Lane, a life-long chess player, said he became involved in the club in January after reaching out to the library for information on chess in the area.

It was perfect timing — Throckmorton had recently lost the previous Chess Club leader and was looking for a replacement. Lane signed on to help teach new players and facilitate games between more experienced participants. He said he has enjoyed the experience so far.

“It’s amazing to see how these kids really develop here, in terms of communication and the team concept where they can teach each other and deal with loss,” he said. “I think that dealing with loss at this age is important today because kids don’t lose a lot these days.”

Along with lessons on loss, Lane said children also learn critical thought processes, how to interact politely with others and more.

“There’s an action for everything they choose to do, good or bad,” he said. “(They’re) also learning when it’s right to not be aggressive; those important moments of being empathetic.”

Participants in Saturday’s Chess Club all said their skills have improved since attending. Many play at home as well, but relish the chance to match up against others.

“I get to get better the more I play,” said Reese Thayer, 11. “I actually get a challenge playing here.”

Throckmorton Library holds the Fort Bragg Chess Club every second and fourth Saturday of the month. The club is free and open to the public. Beginner, intermediate and expert players are welcome to learn more about the game and participate in friendly competition. For more information, call 396-2665.