SEATTLE (AP) — Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who took on President Donald Trump's travel ban, spent his formative years playing competitive chess.

He twice won the state championship and says the game taught him the strategic thinking that's helped him win in politics and in court.

The approach paid off in the case against the ban — first with an order from a federal judge in Seattle that blocked nationwide enforcement, then with a resounding win at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the lower-court decision.

Ferguson, a boyish 51-year-old Democrat, is serving his second term as Washington's top lawyer.

His office has launched other significant lawsuits, including one against President Barack Obama's administration over cleanup of the Hanford nuclear reservation, where the government made plutonium for weapons.