A 75-year-old chess teacher who fought off knife-wielding attacker during class

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Today, I’d like to share with you an amazing story which involved a chess teacher. I just found it very emotional and inspirational, and I felt obliged to mention this honourable person who teaches our beloved game.


James Vernon, 75, an Army veteran, fought off a knife-wielding man who tried to attack a group of children in a library in Morton, Illinois, United States. Vernon was teaching chess to a group of 16 children at the Morton Public Library.


He’d finished his tutorial and was walking around the room to survey the children’s chess moves when a man wielding two knives burst into the room threatening to kill them. “He flung the door open and yelled, ‘I’m going to kill somebody,'” Vernon says.


Vernon put himself between the man and the door, and tried to diffuse the situation while the children escaped. Vernon says he was solely focused on saving the kids.
James Vernon

James Vernon


The children got out safely, but that’s when 19-year-old Dustin Brown came at Vernon with the knives.”I didn’t have any weapons except my hands, so I grabbed him and threw a knee at him and my weight pushed him back.” he says.


Vernon suffered two slashed arteries in his hand and damaged a tendon in his finger. His blood splattered on the plastic chess pieces and on the library carpet. He credits the knife training he received about 50 years ago with being able to subdue his attacker.


I’ll not use the word hero on myself,” he says, “but I did something that required some courage.


A part of this article is taken from here.


I’m really surprised to see this heroic veteran who saved those children. Being an army man and a chess teacher sounds cool, isn’t it! 🙂 It really inspires me and I hope you are inspired too.
attackAlso, I’d like to share with you, some of the few things I learnt from this ‘amazing man’:

  • Offense is the best defense! – this is exactly what I told you in my lesson, “The Secrets of Strong Players
  • Focus on your plans – the man was FOCUSED on saving the kids and he was successful at it!
  • In some cases, you need to maintain the tension. That’s exactly what the old man did – he stayed focused on saving the children and trying to diffuse the situation.
  • More importantly, you have to incorporate the ideas/lessons you learnt, in your games like how Vernon used the knife training he learnt about 50 years ago!


You can learn more about the above ideas in the FREE mini-course, “The Secrets of Strong Players”.


Hence, even when you have no weapons to attack, if you have the right plan, good understanding, and play the right moves, you can be successful!

Note: Stay tuned for something new and interesting! 🙂
P.S. Are you inspired/motivated? 🙂 Share this amazing piece of information with your friends, and feel free to write your thoughts in the comments below. 
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