We welcome people of all ages and skill levels from beginners to intermediate and above.
Click below to see more of our members.
Aaron Thomas Baker, standing right, with his father, Chris Allen Baker - founders of the Scott County Chess Club
Aaron has enjoyed success in school playing in tournaments hosted by the East Central Talented and Gifted Association.
The Scott County Chess Club usually holds meetings on the first Saturday of each month
(unless announced otherwise for a particular meeting).
Meetings are held from 9 until 11 a.m. at the Forest Public Library.
Anyone interested in playing or learning how to play Chess just needs to show up.
No membership dues are charged for attending meetings.
The club also sponsors two major tournaments each year and other activities when possible.
* The tournaments include rated games that require U.S. Chess Federation membership.
We strive to promote the game of Chess in Scott County and provide opportunities for persons
of all ages and skill levels to learn and play the game.
When Aaron Baker was in the second grade at Forest Elementary School in February 2018, he learned the game in the WINGS gifted class. Each student made a chess board out of construction paper and was given small plastic chess pieces.
Aaron came home and asked his father, Chris, to play a game. Chris responded that he didn't know how to play. "I had always wanted to learn, but I never got around to it. The perceived complexities intimidated me," he said. Aaron showed him how the pieces move and the general parameters of the game, "and I was hooked."
The father and son duo wanted to find others in the community to join in the game so Chris contacted Dianne McLaurin at the Forest Public Library to see what could be arranged in starting a club. “A library patron came to us and suggested the idea of starting a chess club here. We were excited about the idea and we were already aware of children who expressed interest,” McLaurin said.
Two interest meetings were held in May and attracted a good turnout. The Friends of the Library support group purchased five chess sets for use during club meetings and for library patrons to use during their visits.
At first, the club focused on children, but then expanded to all ages. Attendance began to grow over the next two years, including turnouts of 20+ players participating. Anyone who already played the game or wanted to learn was invited.
And then COVID-19 struck.
Like other programs, the club was suspended from March 2020 until September 2021 when the library started to resume normal operations. Many of the original players drifted away due to the extended downtime so the club began to rebuild - keeping the door open to past players while welcoming new ones.
The club took another step forward in the fall of 2021 by joining the U.S. Chess Federation as an affiliate club and hosted its first tournament in November. The Roosevelt Chess Classic attracted 46 players from across Mississippi and three other states. Chris was also a guest on the "Good Things with Rebecca Turner" radio show on SuperTalk to promote the game and the club.
Growth continued in 2022 with the addition of another tournament, the Bienville Chess Classic, and Chris became a tournament director. The club also started a newsletter distributed via email. This web site was launched in September 2022 and the club began making regular appearances at community events.
For detailed information about our past activities, see our Annual Report below.
For more information about past and future events, click HERE.
Deanne McCown was the gifted teacher at Forest Elementary School when Aaron was in the 2nd grade.
Pictured at right is Aaron's first chess board made in his gifted class in 2018 while in the second grade at Forest Elementary School. His teacher, Deanne McKown, had each student make a board out of construction paper and provided small plastic pieces as she taught them the game.
The image below the board is a king piece painted on glass which Aaron made during a crafts event at a local church youth activity.
Our first board and Chess art
We would like to thank the following people and entities for all their support in helping us get started and keep going. We could not do what we do without you.
Partners - Organizations
Central Mississippi Regional Library System / Forest Public Library - Dianne McLaurin
Friends of the Forest Public Library - support group
U.S. Chess Federation - Chris Green
Mississippi Chess Association - Mark Nicholas
Mississippi Scholastic Chess Association - Douglas Stewart and Jay Mitchell
Capital City Chess Club (Pearl) - Beth Thrasher
Roosevelt State Park - Pam Holman, Debbie Franklin, and Tyler Hines
Bienville National Forest
Forest Baptist Church
Andrew Jackson Council - Boy Scouts of America
Boy Scouts of America - Troop 63 (Forest)
Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce - Gayle Clark
Community Bank - Lee McCarty
Cox Chevron - Vance Cox
Bank of Morton - Martha Rogers
Tom Miles - State Representative
Priority One Bank (Morton) - Beverly Tadlock
French's Pharmacy - David and Rita French
Fountain ACE Hardware - Jeff Fountain
Bank of Forest - Allen Breland
Jack Batte and Sons Lumber Mill (Forest) - Kathy Batte
Joe McGee Construction (Lake) - Joe and Lynn McGee
Partners - Tournament Directors
Chris Allen Baker - Chief Tournament Director
Beth Thrasher - Senior Assistant
Mark Nicholas - Senior Assistant
Douglas Stewart - Senior Assistant
Jay Mitchell - Assistant
Anjanette Rassif - Assistant
Burks Rives - Assistant
Partners - Resources
Community Bank - Nelda Tyree
SwissSys - Thad Suits
Mississippi Trophy - Angie Banks
Larchwood Designs - Carrie Phillips
Go Daddy - (Service rep.) Kris
Mississippi Secretary of State - Michael Watson
Billy Freeman - Photography
Ingram Printing - Chris Ingram
Partners - Publicity
The Scott County Times - Tim Beeland
SuperTalk Mississippi - Rebecca Turner
Spirit of Morton
WLBT Studio 3 - Angela Evans
Partners - Community involvement
Forest Chamber of Commerce - Allyce Lott
Town of Lake - Kettra Tally
City of Morton - Christopher Hines
Town of Sebastopol - Greg McGarrity
Individuals - People who have contributed or helped in any way
Emily S. Baker
Alene Staggs Lindsey
Lt. Col. (retired) Michael Hawkins
If you believe in what we are doing and want to assist, we would appreciate your financial support to help us meet our mission goals. Click at right for more information on how you can contribute any amount. Your name would be listed above among our supporters.
We are registered and incorporated with the Mississippi Secretary of State as a non-profit organization.
Our business identification number is 1360195