Moves that Matter
Chess is a game of strategy, competition, and tactic; but more importantly a game where a relationship can be made and healing is possible. Moves That Matter (MTM), formally known as Chess for Life, began as a pilot program in 2009 at the Siteman Cancer Center. A group of 10 volunteers schedule weekly play times with cancer patients, caregivers, and visitors. MTM gives patients and caregivers the opportunity to play chess, think about their next move, and make a personal connection with a stranger, which in many cases, becomes a friend. Whether a game lasts three minutes or three hours, this time gives the patient an opportunity to not think about what they may be going through and what battle they may encounter next. Chess is a game that can be played by any age, at any playing level.
In 2011, Moves That Matter became an outreach program of the World Chess Hall of Fame. The mission of MTM is to make the game of chess available in health and human service organizations for the benefit of their patients, family members, and caregivers. MTM does this by partnering with these organizations to establish chess playing programs and opportunities within their facilities. Patients, family members, and caregivers looking for a distraction from everyday challenges may embrace the game to enjoy its challenge or as a way to pass the time and make a social and emotional connection with someone else.
The program is designed to accommodate hospitals, nursing homes, and recreation centers. Currently, Moves That Matter chessboards and chess pieces are available in a dozen facilities throughout the state of Missouri, including St. John’s Mercy Hospital and Saint Louis University Cancer Center.
Moves That Matter is always looking for new partners, and welcomes any new ideas. Please contact the Program Manager, Lauren Stewart for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or (314) 367-WCHF (9243) ext. 106.