Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fathers Promoting Their Pawns

So I'm reading one book - The Over-Scheduled Child: Avoiding the Hyper-Parenting Trap - which is stupid by the way...

But in it is a deprecating reference/quote to Fred Waitzkin, the hard-charging father of the chess prodigy featured in that decent motion picture.

Having seen the movie already I suddenly got interested in the book - Searching for Bobby Fischer because it was written by the father. I was curious as to how much time they actually spent studying/practicing at such a young age. (Only 7-15 hours per week!) So I literally dropped the parenting book and went over to the nonfiction section to grab Waitzkin's account.

And I was riveted all night; and finished it in about a single sitting.

I would go so far as to say that *chess* is my son's #1 activity now. Recall we haven't done much math for well over a year.

John's got his second big chess tournament coming up this weekend. We'll see how he does....chess here in the NYC area is pretty darn competitive.

One note about the book/movie...

There was one kid, Josh's arch-rival, who *didn't go to school*.

And of course the parents all grumbled that it wasn't fair that he could play chess all day long in preparation.

Incredibly, their complaint was that the poor child would be *living on the streets* or something if he didn't go to school.


They were indeed right about one thing, though. It truly is *not fair* to try to compete against kids who are unburdened with school nonsense.

See also - Best Self-Reinvention Ever?

1 comment:

Laura said...

Chess, especially driven by the child's interests, is a powerhouse for learning math, critical thinking, strategy, patience, all sorts of abilities that are linked to long-term success. No wonder you don't need to do much in the way of math! We liked the Bobby Fischer movie too. I remember in particular the way the filmmaker showed the child's normal happy way of being included a room littered with Legos.