Brookfield teen teaches chess, expands horizons for kids

Four teens have a shot at a $10,000 prize – and FOX6 News is bringing you the finalists for the Junior Achievement ‘Young Entrepreneur Live’ competition.

One of those in the running is a high school junior from Brookfield – whose idea to help teach chess for free is helping expand the horizons of dozens of kids.

Chess is a game built around making the right decisions with a goal to trap your opponent.

"It's a very casual game. It's a lifelong game.  It's a very chill game," says Krish Sharma of Brookfield.

Sharma says he stumbled upon chess when he was just 6 or 7.  Now recognized as one of the best players in Wisconsin, lately Sharma has been building a name not for the King's he has captured but the walls he is tearing down.

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"We focused on elementary kids and middle school kids to give access and free to free coaching of chess in our area," explains Sharma.

The Brookfield Academy Junior is the co-creator of Power of Pawns.  It's a non-profit that teaches kids how not to just play the game but excel at it.  It was an idea born during the pandemic.

"Obviously things shut down, and it wasn't easy for people to have tournaments, and a lot of that, like community in our area was lost. Because I saw that I knew I wanted to do something to fix that," says Sharma.

His big idea came when a chess coach asked if he could help a couple of kids who couldn't afford one-on-one mentoring.  It's a service that can cost upwards of nearly $100 an hour.

"It's very expensive and I think partially, the fact is, it's expensive because there aren't many people who do it," says Sharma.

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Sharma saw the problem as an opportunity.  The teen now coaches, holds clinics and tournaments.  Through Power of Pawns what started as helping a couple of kids now has about 150 in its ranks in two different states.

A friend runs the California chapter and the cost of their services is nothing.

"I think it's super rewarding we see him, the classes he gives, the smile he sees on the kids faces. I mean, that's too rewarding for him, and just makes his day," says his mom.

His parents say they've had a front row seat to his selflessness from an early age.

"I still remember he won an award and he looked at the other kid and said you didn't win?  He looked at the kid and gave him the award and said go take it home.  And he said dad it's OK I will win others but I wanted to make sure he had something to bring back home," says his dad.

Sharma has built his brand in-between a state tennis championship run and other extracurricular that has earned him his latest title "Junior Achievement Young Entrepreneur Live Finalist".

"I'm really grateful that I was chosen," says Sharma.

It may be his best move yet.

Watch the program

This exciting event is hosted by FOX6’s Mary Stoker Smith. You can watch these impressive Young Entrepreneurs in action as they make their bid to bring home the grand prize. The stream goes live on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 3:30 p.m.

You will need to register to watch the program, but there is no fee or cover charge. 

You will also find more information on the Young Entrepreneur Competition, plus a list of the finalists and judges.