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Chess and Fun Mate in Park

Amanda Connell stumbled into the royal treatment Sunday. "It went by height," she said of the decision to cast her as an all-powerful queen in a new event for Norwalk: a human chess game. It's something Chris Potts had been thinking about for four years. "Everything finally came together," said Potts, who leads a children's chess club at the Norwalk Library.

The event was sponsored by John M. Glover Agency and organized by the Friends of Ryan Park. The Friends did it in just three weeks. President Ganga Duleep had the yellow and black squares painted in the park's amphitheater, Potts wrote a script and Ruby Watkins helped recruit volunteers. Tiasia Brown, 15, played the white queen because her cousin thought she should. "I hope we like it," she said before the game, admitting she didn't know much about chess.

Connell played a pivotal role. Her capture was a sacrificial role on black's part, leading to a checkmate on white a few moves later.

Watkins said it wasn't difficult to recruit players. She had people calling and asking if there was still room for more pieces after all the slots were filled. One mother called from a cruise ship. Her son, Vincent Xu, 7, wants to play chess everyday and has been learning from Potts at the library. "He started playing chess every Saturday, and he loved the teacher there," she said. "He started making very good progress."

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