PUSHING THE EDGE: Play chess and learn strategic thinking
09/20/18: The Hingham Journal
I started playing chess at a young age. I’m not sure whether it was my chess ability that helped me with math or my math ability that helped me with chess. In high school I was a member of the chess team. Yes, there was such a thing as a chess team. We traveled to other schools and played matches. Much like tennis there was a ranking of players on the team with the best playing board one. I played board two.
Chess is a two-player strategy game played on a checker board. The game is believed to have originated in India sometime before the 7th century. Chess reached Europe by the 9th century. The pieces assumed their current powers in Spain in the late 15th century and the rules of play were standardized in the 19th century. In the 20th century Russians dominated the international chess field.
In 1970, United States master, Bobby Fischer began an effort to become World Champion. He became a household name and made chess front-page news for a time. He won the World Championship title in 1972. Some of you may remember the IBM computer, Deep Blue, was the first machine to overcome a reigning World Chess Champion in a match when it defeated Garry Kaparov in 1997.
Chess is a game that develops structured thinking and deliberation. There are three critical skills I learned playing chess.
1. Strategic forward thinking - defending against opponents actions while asserting actions for your benefit.
2. Scenario planning – playing out “what if” moves in your mind.
3. Empathy – viewing the game from your opponents perspective.
These are very advanced skills that many adults struggle with. Yet, chess offers a learning environment that is also fun.
The Hingham Chess Club was founded by Kay Praschma and Laura Donnelly in February 2017. Classes are offered weekly by Chess Master Farzad Abdi. He is the past North East Champion and the 2017 runner-up in the Massachusetts Championship.
Each Thursday beginners, intermediates and advanced players of all ages are welcome at Cushing Hall in the Second Parish Church, located at 685 Main Street. Starting September 20th, the Hingham Chess Club will be offering classes for a fee. For more information, email HinghamChessClub@yahoo.com.
Glenn Mangurian is a Hingham resident of 30 years. His recent book, Pushing the Edge of Thought, Possibility, and Action, is available on Amazon. He welcomes your comments and can be reached at email@example.com