Dennis M's Chess Site

This is a blog for chess fans by a chess fan. I enjoy winning as much as anyone else, and I've had a reasonable amount of success as a competitor, but what keeps me coming back to the game is its beauty. And that, primarily, is what this site will be about! All material copyrighted.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Radio Reflections on Chess, Children, and Character

South Bend area chess player and higher ed blogger Ken Smith (not that Ken Smith) occasionally writes radio essays for our local NPR radio station, and this Friday his essay offered reflections arising from the local chess scene. The punchline comes at the end, when he writes that "[w]hen you watch them [chess-playing pre-teens], you get the impression that some of them may already know that chess, like life, is about character."

I think he's overly optimistic about the value of chess and its role in shaping those kids' characters, but I think Ken does a nice job of presenting something of our game, in an attractive way, to the "gentiles" - something all of us with access to media should do from time to time, if only to combat the negative images out there.

Thanks, Ken!


  • At 7:08 PM, Blogger Ken Smith said…

    Thanks for mentioning my essay, Dennis. Your cautious appraisal of the final sentence makes me think further. I agree with you -- I doubt that chess or other competitive activity necessarily builds character. Maybe I should have said that those who are alert to matters of character can find plenty to reflect on in chess, and, on those days when we are up to the task, plenty to work on. I can see, for example, that some of my weaknesses as a chess player are related to my weaknesses in other parts of life...


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