Georgia man teaching lessons on life, through the game of chess

Working with chess champion Orrin Hudson is all about the silence.
Published: Apr. 5, 2023 at 6:43 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 5, 2023 at 7:38 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Working with chess champion Orrin Hudson is all about the silence.

“Don’t do the first thing that pops into your head. The first crack could be a wack and you can’t take it back. So think,” said Orrin “Checkmate” Hudson founder of Be Someone.

The silence means you have paused, a decision Hudson believes could save a life.

“I am a former state trooper, Airforce veteran,” said Hudson, “I am trying to solve problems before they happen. Prevention is better than detention. Putting people in jail doesn’t work, they come out worse than they went in.”

Be Someone was founded, with children and teenagers in mind.

”After a while, I started to like it to the point where I wanted to come every day,” said 16-year-old, Desmoine Bennett.

Kids come to the non-profit to learn to play chess and compete against each other.

“This is the game of life!” said 7-year-old Chase.

“Even in this game. You have to pay attention. You have to stay focused. You have to watch the movement of your opponent,” said Lakina Scherry, mother of a player.

The rules of chess bleed into real life for Hudson.

“We cannot keep killing each other, we cannot keep burying children. We cannot keep failing in school,” said Lakina.

Some of the lessons he teaches the kids he mentors are lessons in anti-violence.

“I am grateful. I have never seen a child of ours, in our program who has been on the news for something negative,” said Orrin, “The silence, the silence is the sauce that helps you win!”

Over spring break, he hosts his annual Leadership Chess Camp.

“I don’t want to be on the sidelines watching, I want to do everything I can to make the world a better place,” said Orrin.