chess

Connecticut Post (Sunday) - - Take a break - SHELBY LY­MAN

I still re­call the en­thu­si­asm of a Bronx High School prin­ci­pal who phoned me more than 20 years ago. He had an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. He in­tro­duced chess into many of his classes. The re­sult: im­proved grades, at­ten­dance and deco­rum. There were sim­i­lar re­ports from other prin­ci­pals and teach­ers dur­ing the same time pe­riod. Sig­nif­i­cantly, the re­ports were usu­ally from in­ner- city schools where chess of­fered a rare and im­me­di­ate op­por­tu­nity for dra­matic im­prove­ment. Stu­dents at the bot­tom of their class were beat­ing class­mates oth­er­wise aca­dem­i­cally out of reach. Stu­dents were beat­ing teach­ers and girls were beat­ing boys. It was a topsy- turvy world com­pared to the pre­vi­ous one. The no­tion be­gan to pre­vail that “chess made kids smarter.” This was of course not lit­er­ally true. But, the chess arena gave them a chance to dis­play abil­i­ties not al­ways easy to dis­play in reg­u­lar class­rooms. There were plenty of smarts in those ghetto schools - un­for­tu­nately sup­pressed as they of­ten are to­day.

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