Christian Fuller has been in town for only a year.
Yet, he has made a lasting impression on many.
He’s a runner. He has coached young runners and entered races.
He has also introduced chess to people who never had thought of the game before.
He enjoys talking about the similarities between chess and running, and how chess, because it teaches concentration, can improve running.
“It can also improve one’s math understanding and performance, as well as reading,” Fuller said.
And, it might be said to improve life skills.
On Tuesday, he taught a chess class at the Snowcreek Club. His eager students were a nine-year-old and two 11-year-olds.
It was his final chess class before he leaves Mammoth for other pastures in New York. There he will study physical therapy, continue running, and coach running.
“I’ll continue what I’m doing – I love to help athletes – but with more tools in my toolkit,” Fuller said.
He taught opening moves, tactics and strategies. He talked about the middle game and the endgame, about the short-term tactics and the strategies to reach the endgame, where only a few pieces remain on the board.
“Chess helps everyone. IQ doesn’t matter. As long as you enjoy it, you’re going to have benefits,” he said.
Nine-year-old Owen Omandi started playing chess on his uncle’s glass chess set when he was younger,
“But I was playing it wrong, so I decided to play it right,” he said. He and his 11-year-old brother Sam have been playing with and learning from Fuller for about six months, along with their friend, 11-year-old Blaise Jones.
“My mom first got a little chess set for me from Booky Joint and we played a few times,” Blaise said. “I thought it was really fun and when I was in third grade, I took an after-school chess class. I enjoy the strategic aspects.”
Blaise’s mother Cleland Hoff, known to be an action figure herself, is determined that chess club continue even after Fuller leaves.
She is looking for others to help propel the cause.
Interested people who can teach and play can reach Hoff at (760) 914-2000.