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"More Black Nerds"

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I didn't manage to post this on the weekend when it would have been of more use to you, but the new PBS documentary "America Beyond the Color Line" showed yesterday and today. It's on at 9pm in most places. Americans should check their public television schedule. I mention it because the film includes a look at American GM Maurice Ashley and his activities teaching chess in Harlem. One of the many news stories out online that mention him is this one in the Denver Post.

Chess won't draw kids away from basketball until its champions make the millions of dollars NBA players do. Maybe the sneaky tack of telling kids that playing chess will make them better basketball players is worth a try. There are enough famous athletes who play chess and talk about it to give this some credibility. Then the mental and psychological benefits of chess will be acquired, which will come in handy in the classroom and elsewhere when that one-in-a-million shot at the NBA doesn't work out...

Priest Holmes, arguably the best running back in American football, is a chess nut. He has a "chess room" in his house, although with all those aforementioned millions he probably also has a Nintendo room, a Chinese checkers room, and a room just for keeping light brown shoes. An unofficial biography of Holmes on a kids' website includes this: "Priest Holmes used the strategy of chess to make him a better football player. Just like a chess player needs to figure out the best plan to attack the King, Holmes reasoned that a running back needs to plot the best strategy to maneuver through defenders to reach the end zone." Good stuff. Holmes also founded and sponsors chess clubs.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on February 4, 2004 2:24 AM.

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