Chess tournament honors Daniel Perelman's life and passion for chess

NOW: Chess tournament honors Daniel Perelman’s life and passion for chess


BROOKFIELD, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The Brookfield community is continuing to remember 18-year-old Daniel Perelman who died in a plane crash last May while on one of his first solo flights.

On Saturday, Oct. 15, he wasn't just remembered as a young man with a bright future, studying to be a surgeon at Northwestern.

He's being remembered with a chess tournament, something his family and friends say was one of his greatest passions.

"Chess was a huge part of his life, and a huge part of what made him who he is," said Benny Perelman, Daniel's Dad.

Benny said by the time Daniel was 10 he didn't stand a chance in a chess match against Daniel.

Saturday, hundreds of people came out for the First Annual Daniel Perelman Memorial Wisconsin Rapid State Championship.

Benny says while Daniel was an accomplished chess player, there was more to it.

"More importantly than a trophy or a title here and there, it helped as I said make him who he is, built his character," said Benny.

He said that's what he's hoping the people of all ages who came out can learn from the tournament.

"Learn how to lose gracefully, learn how to approach someone you just beat or lost to," said Benny.

Krish Sharma, Founder of Power of Pawns and an organizer for the event, can be seen in pictures next to Daniel when they were young boys.

"Me and Daniel, we go way back," said Sharma, adding that everything changed after Daniel passed away in the crash. "That just completely flipped my world upside down."

Now, he's working with the Perelman's, and Daniels friends and family to continue his legacy.

"They all know that he was not only a great chess player, he was passionate about chess," said Sharma.

Many of the people there Saturday played with Daniel.

"Anybody knows he really had an impact on the chess community," said Sharma.

Sharma says he's hoping Daniel's kindness and love for others can be remembered.

"He was passionate about the people around him, he was really a kind soul and I think as I grew older, I really got to see that side of him," said Sharma.

"We hope that they can kind of take a lesson of who he was as a person," said Benny, "learn about Daniel and his story, but also learn about the game of chess."

Benny says the showing there from Brookfield Academy, Daniel's alma mater, and the chess community, is touching for them.

"We're constantly, continuously being surprised and overwhelmed by the response from the community," said Benny.

Daniel's sister Lola says for those who knew him, it shouldn't be surprising how many people came out to show their love.

"I'm not very surprised, just because like I know that so many people loved him and stuff, so I'm just really happy," said Lola.

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