Chess Cat

Can an impulsive and forgetful baby boomer learn to think logically by playing chess? Will every game end in a sickening blood bath or will I eventually triumph? We'll just see, won't we.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Knights of the South Bronx

I waited for the movie Knights of the South Bronx for three weeks and it was finally on A&E tonight. Ted Danson fills in as a substitute teacher for fourth graders in the Bronx, thinking it's temporary. That all changes when he teaches the kids chess and they take to it like starving piranhas.

I liked the movie. I'm into underdogs succeeding. There was one part that really lifted my wig a bit. After they got pretty good at chess, he taught the kids, including a kindergartner, to play chess without using a board and pieces. They held a mental picture in their minds of the game and all the moves and where the pieces were at all times.

Those kids did it. I wonder how many centuries it would take for ME to do that! Wonder if I could practice doing that for 15 minutes a day. Sneak it in when I'm doing something else that's totally boring and mind-numbing instead of turning on the TV. There's a thought.

What's the chances I'll actually do that? What would the rewards be? If I could hold an image of the chess board and piece placement in my head and follow the game without messing up, I would be exercising some mighty puny muscles. I would go from the 97-pound weakling (mentally) to Hercules. Why does that appeal to me? Um, perhaps because of the piles of notes I write myself to keep from forgetting my head?

Do I have something utterly boring I have to do tomorrow? Yes! OK, I'll visualize the first four moves of a game. Will I do it? Yes. Can I do it? Hmm...stay tuned.

Can YOU play mental chess like that? If so, can you tell me how the ability to focus or visualize like that has changed your life?