Our Player of the Month began her life’s chess journey like so many other TCA volunteers. Her children learned and played chess at school. In the evenings, after supper, chores and homework, family time included learning about Knight forks and the Lawnmower Mate. Saturdays were spent at chess tournaments. They learned much from her about how to be successful in life and the power of a mother’s love. Today they are medical and dental students in Europe. And they still play chess.

It almost didn’t happen, at least the chess part.

Twenty years ago, the school’s chess instructor wanted to move on and gave notice. There soon would be no chess program. She noted the positive impact chess has for her children and for the other children. She cared enough to make a difference. She volunteered to run the program.

It may have helped that she was more than a concerned parent; she was also a teacher at the school. Her dedication helped establish the school’s reputation as one of the top charter schools in Texas. Parents requested and hoped she would be their child’s teacher.

Today, her chess club has 90 players. She chaperoned 50 at the 2020 Region III Championships. For her headquarters, she commandeered a table in the Food Court. This gave her an opportunity for adult conversations with parents and visitors. However, her chess-playing students remained top priority. Between rounds students sat at the table doing homework. Time and again, she stopped visitor conversations to fully focus on her players who eagerly relayed how their game went. Those children were not an interruption; they were the sole reason for everything that day.

Our Player of the Month is making a world of difference as a Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) teacher at Universal Academy in Coppell. She uplifts, mentors and inspires. She is a role model teaching the right things for so many. For all these reasons, we at Texas Chess Association proudly salute Pardeep Hundal as our March 2020 Player of the Month.

If you know someone who should be a Player of the Month tell us. Send your email to txchessfacebook@gmail.com. Current TCA membership required.

Photo by Jim Hollingsworth — at Music City Mall in Lewisville.