What's Cool at School: Chess program at I.S. 318 in Williamsburg

The premier middle school chess program in the country is right in Williamsburg.
Walking through I.S. 318, it's hard not to notice all the trophies that line the stairwells.
Last month, the I.S. 318 chess team competed in nationals in Texas where it won second place. 

"It's actually an amazing experience for kids to get to travel and then spend their whole weekend just thinking and see that thousands of other people are doing the same thing,” says teacher Elizabeth Spiegel.

The chess team has won more than a dozen championships in the past 15 years.
One of those wins, a high school national championship, which is a big feat for a middle school. 

Sixth-grader William Liu says the game has taught him important life skills.
"Even if I lose and don't get a trophy or medal, I still got to play and it was fun,” says Liu.

But that doesn't mean he's not setting his sights high.
While Liu says he's happy with how he did this year at nationals, he's hoping to do even better next year. 

"Get first place at nationals,” he says. 

He tells News 12, it certainly won't end there thanks to this unique program.

"I want to play for the rest of my life,” says Liu.