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Local teacher teaches blind chess to students for over 30 years  

Dogwood Elementary School teacher uses blind chess as a way to develop important skills

HEBER, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - Tony Lambert teaches students how to play chess at a young age. He teaches his fourth-grade class how to properly play.  

Lambert uses chess as a way to help improve students' critical thinking skills, memory enhancement, problem-solving, self-confidence, visualization, and mental imagery.  

Students in his class have advanced their chess playing skills by learning how to play without looking. 

Lambert projects a virtual chessboard in his class having the two opponents turned away from the screen.

That's where the players have to memorize where each chess piece is and where they would like to make their next move. 

“The level of concentration and visualization is off the charts, they have to keep track of everything and that means in order to do so, it forces them to focus and concentrate on where all the pieces are and where their opponent's pieces are. It's just a very demanding skill," said Lambert. 

Students also said that learning to play chess has also helped them improve their math curriculum. 

His former students who are adults today also teach their own children how to incorporate chess as a life-learning skill. 

“I have one student who brings his son to train at Starbucks, so it’s very gratifying to see my former students that come back and help me teach and still continue to play,” expressed Lambert.

One hope that Lambert wishes is for the school districts in the Imperial Valley to get together and have a chess competition for students one day.  

Article Topic Follows: Education

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Jailene Aguilera

Jailene Aguilera joined KYMA in April 2023. She is the anchor/producer for CBS at 6 and 10 pm. If you have any story ideas, contact Jailene at


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