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Only Son

CHESS-tivus for the rest of us!

In Only Son

By J. Smith IV
Dec. 26, 2017 at 10:09 a.m.

Season's Greetings!

When LNJ reporter Meredith Shamburger's Daingerfield-Lone Star ISD volunteer teaches chess to 300 students headline made the front page, above the fold even, I smiled. 

On the one hand, I cynically yet reservedly mused "Slow/No news Monday" but, then I thought:  "This is great news for East Texas, any given day of the week!"  The Longview LOBOS had not yet lost that gut-wrenching final game of the 2017-2018 season at the time of Ms. Shamburger's article, released December 17, 2017 and the hope of my alma mater winning state, within the very same year of my LHS graduating Class of 1987 high school reunion was a dream devoutly to be wished!  But, now that the high school football season is at an end for the Longview LOBOS, a chess solstice is at the height of its own season, for those who can negotiate certain terrain upon the sixty-four strategic squares of the chessboard. 

There is life after LOBO football season:  CHESS-tivus for the rest of us! 

It is no laughing matter. 

There are no torn ACLs, concussions or contusions involved with the sixteen year-old lad (or lady) who engages in chess play.  And, the same full academic scholarships that are awarded at the grand high school signing media affairs each year are also being quietly awarded to any number of high school chess scholars.  

If your child has not quite found that place in the sun, where she or he might "get in to fit in" during their awkward, pitiable and often cruel K-12 public school years, chess as a discipline, as a science and as "an art", may offer a path to certain satisfaction and certain academic success as well. 

The University of Texas at Dallas and Texas Tech University have offered partial and full academic scholarships "to kids from 1 to 92" over the last fifteen years.  Like so many other worthwhile pursuits, the key to accomplishing the goal, is for the parent to make the first move and encourage their child's interest in something other than just football, basketball and track.

Learn the rules of the game.  Consider healthier pursuits.  Put down the media entertainment and draw your child back to certain reality.  Make the time.  Play chess.




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