Chess kids

I’m back from Cambridge, England, where I obviously did not blog on what I was hearing every day in a series of generally excellent seminars (perhaps more on those later, though).

I got back to the U.S. in time to see my article on scholastic chess in Massachusetts, Young Knights, arrive on newsstands in the Boston Globe magazine. I liked a lot of things about this piece, not least the boys I wrote about themselves, all of whom must make their parents very proud. One of my favorite lines put chess in context with hockey:

Chess is a blood sport, but all the bloodshed happens in the brain – which may explain why chess players always seem to be holding their heads in their hands. Think of it as the intellectual version of hockey: You bash each other’s brains out, and when you’re done, you shake hands and go home.

It also gave me a chance to look at the academic benefits of playing chess, which turn out to be more anecdotal than hard scientific fact, in part because it turns out there hasn’t been all that much research.

One thought on “Chess kids

  1. My lead anecdote, which featured an intense state championship match between the two main characters and referred to them as going mano a mano (at least as mano as 10-year old boys can be), prompted some reader complaints that I was playing fast and loose with the language, by misusing mano a mano (literally, hand to hand or one on one).

    That led to this follow-up column by the Globe’s wordsmith:

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