The Moreland Chess Club was started in 1992 by Bill Heinemann originally to give his own son a place to play chess. After several years, some good players were developing including Marjorie, his daughter who won the Kindergarten championship in the Twin Cities grade level tournament. By 1996 we had enough players to take a team to the state tournament. We surprised the Minnesota chess world by upsetting the heavily favored Zachary Lane team which had hundreds of members and had won not only several State Championships, but National championships as well.

Chess club usually meets twice a week during the entire school year. Once a week they are instructed by Bill Heinemann. They learn strategy and tactics and practice checkmates and queening pawns. They also have a worksheet most weeks to work on in class and take home to finish. A newsletter is sent out most weeks with news, tournament schedules, ratings, lessons and puzzles. They also meet once a week after school for practice under the supervision of a parent volunteer.

Since that success in their first State tournament ever, Moreland has gone on to place in the top ten almost every year. Although in 1998 the school changed to a K-4 school, we still managed a 2nd place finish with only 4th graders going against other schools that went up to 6th grade. That year the team traveled to Peoria for the National Championships where we place 17th in the K-5-U900 section. The club has varied in size, but has been in the 20-40 member range most of the time, with average attendance of about 25. Several years we have ordered team T-shirts with the team logo – the Bad Bishops. We have participated in many tournaments, four trips to nationals, and we competed in the first World Chess Championships – held over the internet in the year 2000. We survived the first two rounds and lost on tie-breaks to a team from Virginia in round 3. In 2004 the Moreland Chess Team took 15th place in the Nationals K-3 Championship division in Pittsburgh. In 2005 13 players went to Nashville where the K6U1000 team placed 3rd and the Unrated team placed 12th. In 2006 our school took 23rd place in the National High School tournament U900 section in Milwaukee.

Many of the players have continued to play on various High School Teams and to compete in tournaments both in the Twin Cities and elsewhere. I hope that some day my students will start chess clubs of their own and pass on the love of the game and the wisdom it sheds on life, to children of the next generation.