Skip to content

Chess hobby leads to state championships

Pastor Frank Johnson of Hallock has been playing chess since he was a kid. His quick grasp of the game has led to winning the title of state champion twice: once at the high school level, and a second time at the Minnesota Chess Championship in 2011.

Johnson remembers first learning chess around the age of seven. His parents taught him the basics and he then joined a chess club at his elementary school in Golden Valley, MN. By third grade, he was the top chess player in his K-5 elementary.

Because he enjoyed the game, “I was willing to pour the energy into getting better,” Johnson said. He played chess with friends or in adult tournaments, as there weren’t many other opportunities.

Then the Internet came along when Johnson was around eighth grade, which changed the game for him and anyone else wanting to improve. “That’s when I made giant jumps because I could play anyone in the world,” he said.

For more, see this week’s North Star News!

Leave a Comment