January 16, 2009
More times than not, if you hear Angelo Armistead say “check,” he’s not asking his staff at Hubert H. Humphrey Middle School in Bolingbrook to make sure their security radios are working.
Instead, Armistead, who is a ranked player in the United States Chess Federation, is most likely putting the finishing touches on another victory on the chessboard.
Armistead’s latest victory came a few months ago when he won the Harvey Public Library District’s Juneteenth Chess Tournament, a competition launched two years ago in his honor.
“I started playing when I was 12,” Armistead said. “This was before computers. We played all the time.”
In fact he played so much, and played so well in tournaments, that by the time he was 19 he was rated an “A” player by the United States Chess Federation. He played in regional tournaments throughout northern Illinois. He played in tournaments throughout the Midwest.
He even played in some tournaments across the country.
After graduating from college, he taught English and Spanish at Thornton High School in Harvey and that’s where he began sharing his talents with others by forming a chess club. It was so successful that a tournament is now held in his honor in Harvey.
“I love working with kids,” Armistead said as he recalled field trips and great friendships he developed through the Thornton Chess Club. “We had a great rapport with the parents and the community.”
When he arrived at Humphrey Middle School he helped launch another chess club. One of his dreams is to have a Valley View district-wide chess tournament next summer.
“It is going to be big,” he said.
Sign up for my free email chess course for Beginners and Club Players. In this free course, I focus on helping beginner chess players see the entire board. You will learn how to attack your opponent from move 1 and create a new threat with every single move! I’ve created this series of lessons designed to help beginner and club level players understand the game at a deeper level so that you can start beating higher rated players immediately. Start getting free tips from me directly to your inbox!
– GM Susan Polgar