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.
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."