A Chess Story, 06/04/09

Chess continues to serve as metaphor muse for trading...

A (True) Chess Story

I teach a chess club and I've been struggling w/ how to get the kids and myself up the chess learning curve. Recently I've observed a lot of people who play a lot of chess not get better and even go backwards - so, how to make the kids better?

For the past month I've worked non-stop on the problem and finally this week I just sat down and started playing ChessMaster over and over again, constantly asking myself how I was going to see more and miss less.

A couple of days ago, I got a glimmer and called my chess coach to ask him a couple of questions like "What is the first thing you see when you look at a position?"

And the glimmer grew.

And then yesterday, I had it. I knew how to get better and I knew how to teach the kids to get better. I was really excited. And, luckily, I was on the way to pick up my son from school so I'd have someone to tell.

So I got my son.

And I told my son.

And he was pretty non-plussed.

My wife came home.

I told my wife.

She was polite. So I told my son again.

Finally, I can't stand it and I tell my son I need to practice for my upcoming match and will he play me a game?


I smirk quietly to myself in that dad-like way - now I have him.



He crushes me. Completely and totally crushes me. No take-back moves, no do-overs, nothing. Just humiliating, crushing defeat.

And this is my son who has played so horribly for two straight months that I'm surprised when he beats the kindergarteners in club.

And he's just beaten me, my new insight and my new system.


But, because I am a dad I am undeterred.

I am undeterred because I know I have found _the_ secret.

Even if it is 0-1 in tournament play...

Henry Carstens
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