Monday, May 4, 2009
Cape Cod Weather today: Lousy. Rainy, with low-hanging clouds and a mere 49 degrees. Somehow that seems so much colder than 50 degrees. Why is that?
My oldest son competed in a chess tournament this weekend. Out of about 10 kids in his age group (6th-8th grade) he placed fourth. Not bad. Not as good as he wanted, but respectable.
The amazing part to me is the reactions I got from many of the other adults I mentioned it to along the way (I was at a Brownie workshop with my daughter almost all day Saturday after dropping him at the tournament.) Many of the adults didn't know how to play chess themselves. They couldn't imagine their own kids playing chess, or understanding the various ways the pieces move.
My son started playing in kindergarten. There was a chess club at his elementary school that he participated in when he was in first and second grade. He's a bright kid, but no Bobby Fisher. I harbor no illusions. But the basic strategies of chess aren't impossible to learn, especially for kids these days who seem to be able to keep track of every cheat on every different DS or PSP game, and all the intricate rules for card games like YuGiOh or Pokemon. Why not learn chess?
We need to teach our kids strategies for problem solving, and chess is one of those games where you have to think a few moves ahead in order to beat your opponent.
Strate-gery, as our former president would say. We need to learn 'em some strategery.
I'm guessing former president Bush didn't play much chess, either.