WALLINGFORD – Young chess enthusiasts in Wallingford got a
special treat Saturday morning.

State chess champion Nelson Castaneda participated in simultaneous
games with members of the Wallingford Youth Chess Club at the
Wallingford Public Library on North Main Street.

Castaneda played against more than 40 Wallingford children and
Choate Rosemary Hall students ranging in age from 5 to 17. Roughly
20 chess boards were set up in a rectangle and Castaneda moved from
board to board, moving his pieces and eliminating players. This
style of play was this month’s theme for the club, club director
Wayne Aguiar said.

He said this was the third year Castaneda has come to Wallingford
to play simultaneous games with the club members and other children
from Wallingford.

“It’s exciting for the kids to play against the best in the state,”
Aguiar said.

Castaneda, a professor at Central Connecticut State University,
said he enjoyed playing the simultaneous games in Wallingford
Saturday and saw some familiar faces from past years.

He said he has seen some local players improve over the years and
suggested that players who want to get serious about chess should
get into a routine and study the game.

“Chess is a game where you have to develop skills,” he said.

Charles Forte, of Wallingford, said playing against Castaneda was
tough, but fun.

“I have to say it was challenging,” Charles, 11, said. “After all,
he is the champion.”

jhirsch@record-journal.com

(203) 317-2234