The following is a script from “Chess Country,” which aired on March 26, 2017. Sharyn Alfonsi is the correspondent. Draggan Mihailovich and Laura Dodd, producers.
Chess has been around for 1,500 years but until a couple of summers ago the ancient game was still mostly a mystery to the folks of rural Franklin County, Mississippi. Few had ever played chess before, many confused it with checkers. A chess board was as out of place in the county as a skyscraper, but that all changed when a tall stranger arrived from Memphis to bring chess to the country with a belief that the game could transform a community. He was initially met with bewilderment. Who was this six-foot-six outsider and why would anyone come to Franklin County to teach chess? Less than two years later, a chess boom is underway in the unlikeliest of places.
Tucked deep in the southwest corner of Mississippi …