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Check mates

Tucker said he initially had no idea how to create a chess camp, but he thought about it and worked on it and eventually organized one to be held in cooperation with Proctors.

"It's really a fabulous camp," said Tucker. "We have 27 kids who were involved in the camp last year when we took kids between the ages of 8 and 14."

This year, they will be taking campers ages 7 to 15.

"We don't want to lose the kids we had last year, and we want to expand it and take kids who are a year younger. We found that we had kids who were quite accomplished but weren't 8 years old yet," said Tucker.

He said that they want the camp to grow and they want people to know about the "wonderful opportunity we have right here in our backyard, with world class instruction."

According to Tucker, campers come from all over the Capital District and there is no "typical day" at MATCH Chess Camp.

He said a number of other activities will be thrown into the mix throughout the week.

Campers will go rock climbing, and they'll do an improvisation workshop, and they will have the chance to create their own TV show for Channel 16 in Schenectady, for example.

"It's a chess camp with a twist," said Tucker. "During the week they'll have a chance to get out and play " just rip and run " we'll do lots of things with them including, of course, chess."

Campers have the opportunity to experience these different activities because Ashley has a philosophy.

"I think the physical and the mental go together, and when the physical is strong and healthy, you know, healthy body " healthy mind and vise versa " that's really the philosophy of the camp," said Ashley. "[The] camp is not just chess. I try to integrate everything so that the kids aren't doing wall-to-wall chess."

This year's camp will be held July 6 to 10 at Proctors in Schenectady. It costs $400 for the week, and runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For information or to sign up, visit www.proctors.com, www.mauriceashley.com, or call Tucker at 466-1744.""

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