Zeb Fortman featured in Kansas City Star

Steve Penn, "The Ways of King and Queens," The Kansas City Star, 12 June 2004 (USA).

Zeb Fortman believes playing chess at an early age can spur a child's academic growth. Fortman has dedicated his life to teaching chess to as many young people as possible.

Fortman started playing in chess tournaments in 1967. In 1972, he played on a U.S. chess team that took on the Russians in Kansas City. Today, at 55, Fortman serves as a chess coach and executive director of the Kansas City Regional Chess Council. He's also founder and director of "Be Your Best, Play Chess," a program that operates in 10 area schools.

The program, funded through the Local Investment Commission and the regional chess council, teaches young people the skills of the game and tries to increase their critical thinking and decision making abilities. Fortman is also director of the Pembroke Hill Chess Camp and works closely with the Rockhurst University Community Chess Club.

"I have more schools than I can handle," Fortman said. "I have two other instructors. And I still can't handle all the demand."

Zebedee Fortman II

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Posted by The Chess Drum:  13 June 2004