Our Stories

A Day of Sportsmanship and Learning

What else compares to the love we have for sport? We make role models of modern day gladiators, young and, well… middle-aged, who sweat and toil on the fields of play. Yet, there’s a game of heroes and battles whose fans’ fervor rivals that of “traditional” athletic aficionados. And this game is far older, has had more players, and is open to all.

You sit at the board and suddenly your heart leaps. Your hand trembles to pick up the piece and move it. But what chess teaches you is that you must sit there calmly and think about whether it’s really a good idea and whether there are other, better ideas.Stanley Kubrick, Film Director

Pasadena Educational Foundation is once more hosting The Ray Joiner Chess Tournament on Saturday, September 28. Last year, we welcomed over 100 players from over 15 PUSD schools to participate in a day celebrating Ray and the joy of chess. Volunteers from the San Gabriel Key Club, Arcadia Kiwanis Club, and PUSD parents cheered them on. It was such a wonderful time, filled with fun and fellowship, we felt compelled to do it again.


According to various studies, chess gives the brain a “rigorous workout” and “requires players to make a series of decisions, each move helps kids learn to plan ahead, evaluate alternatives, and use logic to make sound choices.” And it’s fun. At last year’s event, when players were finished or had downtime between matches, what did they do? They played more chess!

“Guess?”  Vizzini cried. “I don’t guess. I think. I ponder. I deduce. Then I decide. But I never guess.” William Goldman, The Princess Bride

For about 15 centuries, this strategic game, based on the movements of armies, kings, and queens, has captivated us. If Ray Joiner taught us anything, it was that all of our children are kings and queens who should be championed. Pasadena Educational Foundation is thrilled to be able to do this each and every day. Come join us as we remember Ray and enjoy a day of sportsmanship and learning!

— Nancy Carol Inguanzo, PEF Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator

1.   Weinhouse, Beth. “The Brainy Benefits of Chess How This Classic Game of Strategy Makes Kids Smarter.” Parents, Meredith Corporation, www.parents.com/kids/development/intellectual/benefits-of-chess/.