Friday, February 12, 2016

Adult vs Children's Chess

Young Magnus Carlsen
Every game is an adventure, and I think that's why we all like it.  Age, background, socioeconomic status or disability don't matter.  What we look for in an opponent is someone of similar strength.

Josh Waitzkin (Right)
Chess is a social activity.  I was going to say its especially good for a shy person, or for a stranger in a strange land, but instead I'll recommend it without reservation.  I've met people in chess I've been friends with for decades.  As for meeting a future spouse or whatever, its happened for a few people.  I don't particularly recommend it for that.

Sukkot Booth
Chess is used educationally because children like it, and it can be used to develop certain processes or characteristics.  So the child is not just enjoying the adventure, but is also preparing for quests of real life.  Some items that come to mind immediately:

1. Observing a problem in its entirety
2. Analyzing it thoroughly
3. Analyzing contemplatively
4. Using logic
5. Using intuition and creativity
6. Using experience
7. Learning from others
8. Observing time limits
9. Patience and persistance

As an older adult, I use chess for one other purpose, which is self-assessment.  To see if I'm sharp on a particular day, and to observe what makes me more or less sharp.  I don't recommend chess as an assessment too for children.  Firstly they're being assessed too much already. Secondly it works for me because I have a certain amount of self-knowledge built up over the years, and I am doing it for myself as opposed to someone else.

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