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February 10, 2008

Dear San Diego Chess Academy:

As a parent of a child with a learning disability, we were encouraged to enroll him in extra curricular programs that would strengthen his cognitive weaknesses. My son was diagnosed with Dysgraphia and attention deficit syndrome.

In researching activities that would help my son, I found chess. This program was highly affective. There were three areas that helped him; motor planning, attention deficit therapies and memory strategizing. Fun was a byproduct!

Chess gave Jeremy confidence. One year after beginning his chess lessons, Jeremy challenged a College Senior from Scotland at a youth Hostel in Bern Switzerland. The game was played outside with chess pieces the size of young adults. Jeremy won that contest, with the Scott stating I have never seen such strategy. On the way home from Europe Jeremy wanted to visit Washington Square in New York, across the street from New York University. Eight chess boards were found at this park, each occupied by a Chess Hustlers. They only played for money. Jeremy insisted to play. While extremely nervous of the surroundings we allowed the game to be played, $20 cash was the entry fee.

The crowd gathered to see the massacre. You could feel the nervous tension among the crowd. A street veteran against a fourteen year old from California. Twenty minutes into the match, which was fifteen longer than the crowd’s expectation, the brow of the hustler was beginning to show signs of panic. The hoots and hollering of his compatriots grew louder. Jeremy’s safety began to give me heartburn. Jeremy lost the match after 30 minutes of a highly contested match.

Jeremy has been with the Academy from the second grade. He began private lessons from the seventh grade. Jeremy is now a sophomore at Carlsbad High School. He is the leader of Carlsbad’s debate team which recently took home first place in a regional debate tournament.

I want to shout to the world a job well done to Dave Melrose. He has always gone the extra mile to support and challenge my son Jeremy.


Pamela Sue Wertz

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