Colleges Recruiting Students for Chess

I played competitive chess as a kid. It was a hobby to which I devoted a good deal of time — going to tournaments, reading books, re-playing my games. In the past year I’ve tried to re-ignite my passion. I read and loved David Shenk’s "The Immortal Game". I’m playing several correspondence games on RedHotPawn.com (email me if you want to play). And there are some talented players at Claremont who I am learning from.

But reading articles like, "Rah! Rah! Block That Rook!" in The American (a new and surprisingly interesting magazine), about colleges recruiting stand-out chess players like they recruit basketball players, reminds me how much more I would have to practice to even come close to playing for the vaunted University of Texas at Dallas chess team. Heck – UT-D offered chess prodigy Ray Robson a full scholarship when he was 10 years old. Wow.

Worth reading for any chess fan.

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Here’s a Portfolio article on Kasparov and whether life imitates chess.

Here’s one of my favorite chess quotes: "A chess genius is a human being who focuses vast, little-understood mental gifts on an ultimately trivial human enterprise. Almost inevitably, this focus produces pathological symptoms of nervous stress and unreality."

3 Responses to Colleges Recruiting Students for Chess

  1. You brought back a lot of nice memories of playing chess with my father while I was growing up. Haven’t played in years, but I’ve been thinking of starting again.

    Anyone have any suggestions for how an out-of-shape chess player can get back into the game?

  2. andy says:

    remember the underground UHS chess club we always tossed around? no rules, no connection to the school, we meet at 12 o clock on a weekend night. everybody has codenames.

    wow, what a tremendous idea. we should still do it one night this summer haha.

  3. I loved Shenk’s book. It is absolutely essential reading for any chess enthusiast. Your post brought back good memories of when I was in middle school and would skip school and take the T down into Harvard square to watch the chess master best some tourist or Harvard student. They’d line up bearing a smug smile that they would be the guy to unseat the homeless chess master and in the many years I’ve witnessed the games, I’ve only seen one of them come close.

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