Chess champ: St. Paul youth rising through the ranks

David Floeder dashed into a cavernous room tucked away in a Minneapolis strip mall.

The hole-in-the-wall chess club was among the St. Paul 12-year-old’s haunts, and the unassuming setting for an internationally rated tournament during Christmas week.

A student in Bloomington’s gifted-and-talented program, David is among the strikingly focused up-and-comers on a lively Twin Cities youth chess scene. That scene is also populated by dedicated parents, young coaches chipping away at the sport’s geeky reputation and some educators who believe chess holds the key ingredients of success: persistence and the right balance between patience and decisiveness.

“Probably the best adjective for him is determined at the board,” Floeder said.


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