Saturday, June 20, 2009

Chess doesn't get respect it deserves

While clicking through TV channels recently, Toby and I chanced upon coverage of the Scripps 2009 National Spelling Bee. A day or so later we also watched the finals of the National Geographic Bee. Like thousands of other viewers, the mental acuity displayed by the young contestants bowled us over. I'm glad the media covered those events but couldn't help wondering why important chess events don't receive similar coverage.

The chessboard is one of the few level playing fields in the world of competitive sports. Men, women, boys and girls -- able-bodied and disabled -- compete against each other in divisions determined not by age, gender or physical condition but by strength of mind, mental agility and performance.

One would think a society that medicates more than 2.5 million of its children for attention-deficit and hyper-activity-related disorders would pay more attention to a game that teaches players to think slowly, clearly and logically.
More in Orlando Sentinel

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