St. Ethelreda shines at Illinois state tourney!

Illinois All-Grade Chess Championships was held in Peoria, Illinois and featured players from kindergarten to 12th grade. This is a prequel to the K-12 Grade Championships held in Orlando, Florida on December 13-15th. St. Ethlereda entered three players in the 8th grade section and got the highest composite score of 8.5 points to win the overall team trophy. Shakira Luster and Trechelle Williams scored 3/4 while Imani Hill scored 2.5/4.


Trechelle Williams, Shakira Luster, Eric Luster (coach) and Imani Hill
hoisting their trophies at the 2019 All-Grade Championships
Photo courtesy of Eric Luster

This is a major accomplishment for a resource-poor school in the Auburn-Gresham area of Chicago’s southside. Amidst many of the school closings in the city, the school was actually targeted for closing and has struggled to keep its doors open. Fortunately, enrollment has become stable under the leadership of Dr. Denise Spells and the recent chess accomplishments have added a ray of light to the school. The girls have been the pride of the chess program which is led by Eric Luster.


Video by ABC7

Shakira Luster, Trechelle Williams, Imani Hill from St. Ethelreda School
Shakira Luster, Trechelle Williams, Imani Hill
at 2019 Chicago Open!

Daaim Shabazz

Daaim Shabazz is the founder of The Chess Drum, while serving as a tenured faculty member of Global Business & Marketing at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. He holds a B.S. Computer Science from Chicago State University, an MBA in Marketing and a Ph.D. in International Affairs & Development, both from Clark Atlanta University. He has served the journalist community for more than 30 years and still competes in tournaments occasionally.

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