The Indiana chess champion's preferred opening moves have changed over the year, a necessary evolution since he's in first grade now.

"Double king pawn unless they do D4 and I have to do D5," said A.J. Jansen, 7, who recently won the 2002 Indiana State Chess Grade Championship at the first grade level, a title he took last year as a kindergartner.

Still a Bobby Fisher fan, he's been taking a hard look at the games of Ray Lopez.

The Harrison Elementary School student hasn't lost any of his enthusiasm for the game. In fact, just to keep things interesting, he's got a little competition at home in the form of his 5-year-old brother, Nicholas.

During a blitz game between A.J. and his older sister, Erika, the youngest Jansen hopped around the table, anticipating the play. He had to hop to see all 64 squares since his shoulders barely cleared the table top.

"Knight takes bishop, bishop takes pawn, pawn takes bishop, queen protects," he said, coaching his older brother, who undoubtedly was 15 moves ahead of the current board positions and mindful of the many turns the game could take, depending on his wily sister's next move.

Nicky's performance at the Grade Championship resulted in a new title. The preschooler beat all the kindergartners. Since he wasn't enrolled in school yet, he was given the preschool title.

The children of Dean and Carol Lyn Jansen, Warsaw, have been playing chess for the last two years and recently returned from the National Scholastic Chess Tournament in Portland, Ore.

Of the more than 3,000 players, Erika was one of about 20 girls.

She prefers long games but as a member of the Jansen team, took fifth-place honors at the national level in blitz play.

At nationals, A.J. placed seventh, the first of 17 seventh-place finishers, after losing one game of seven in his division - a division comprising 691 players in kindergarten through sixth grade classes.

"If we wanted to, we could be at a chess tournament every weekend," Carol Lyn said.

They don't really want to, though. The family members have other interests and Erika hates to be away from piano practice for too long.

A.J.'s success has drawn more kids to Harrison Elementary School's chess club, too, which gained eight more students.

"We had to limit the club to 55 members. We can't take any more kids now," Carol Lyn said. "It's just me and Deb McClintock [as supervisors]."

She hopes the eighth-graders who qualified at the state level this year develop a chess team at Warsaw Community High School next year.

There are open clubs in other cities - in Fort Wayne, Elkhart and South Bend - if a club isn't formed locally for high school students.

A.J. has a new instructor, World Chess Federation Master Jim Dean, who also coaches the Canterbury School in Fort Wayne.

A chess camp is scheduled for June 17 through 21, open to county students. For more information call Carol Lyn Jansen at 269-9773.