Skip to main content

Chessy Fairytale

Chess is part of my family history. Papa was particularly immersed in it during his free time. I grew up wondering what does the game have to do with Rapunzel's plight. I thought it was a bit insensitive of him to enjoy his game when there were damsels in distress in dire need of rescuing. He was happy playing with neighbors, friends or visiting relatives. I stuck with Snow White and gasped when she ate the poisoned apple. He tried to explain the rules of the game to me but I walked with Little Red Riding Hood through the forest and was busy worrying what would she look like when the wolf was through gobbling her up. Although I was aware of the significance of chess as a mind game, my curiosity froze at the squares.

When Papa retired he spent more and more time on the board, the same one he played on since I was a kid. The decades have captured the king, yellowed the queen, fatigued the bishops, rusted the rooks and flaked the pawns; but he enjoyed them like he always did when they were brand new. When I closed my storybooks to face the real world, I rediscovered chess at Hogwartz. As Harry and Hermione listened to Ron holler, "knight to H-3!" I wholeheartedly forgave my father for leaving me alone to deal with Cinderella's evil step-sisters.

I suddenly wanted to buy him a new set as a present. But the perfectionist in me never found the kind I thought he would like. No phone procrastinated in ringing me the news of his passing. Chess was the last thing he did right before a massive coronary felled him. Reeling from the blow, I decided to have an affair with the game my old man loved so much.

Free photos for websites - FreeDigitalPhotos.net

On the day of his funeral I solemnly shifted my affinity for fairytales to chess. It is something I have yet to do and Papa, no matter how quiet he lies down under is involved! I think of this posthumous present now and then. Sometimes the idea is pushed to the back of my mind in the thick of work but it is there, and it permeates my engagements indefinitely. I was delighted when chess appeared on the news recently. The very game in Philippine school curriculum soon! I'm sure Mama would grudgingly grin at how her chess-loving, better half would have proudly told her, "See... my game is just as utilitarian as your scrabble." More importantly, if Cj attends school in the Philippines, he will be closer to the game his late grandfather almost treated like a mistress.

Existing among a thousand others on the net is
Patrick S. McDonald's compilation of studies and papers on chess and education. It makes me want to curl up in a hammock on a tropical beach and wonderfully lose myself among the contents. Some of the titles are Chess is cool for kids, Scientific Proof: Chess improves reading scores, Benefits of chess for children, and Chess improves academic performance.

Now if my knight would just spirit me away and let me have a good read....


Comments

Anonymous said…
i've been too lazy to learn the game (require more thinking than i'm comfortable with). but now that you're at it...ahhhh, you up to tutoring a brickhead novice?
Anonymous said…
requires
Hazel said…
mareng, blog na :))

Popular posts from this blog

Rumford

The Rumford is a much more efficient way to heat a room than earlier fireplaces....(Wikipedia on Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford, designer of tall, shallow fireplaces which are now known as the Rumford, was an Anglo-American physicist known for his investigations of heat)Living in the tropics, I have been in close proximity with only three fireplaces in my life. There was an unused one in the home of my college professor in the Philippines. The other one from which I could feel the heat and see the fire dancing was in a hotel lobby in the Yorkshire Moors. Picture taking was quick. Two old ladies were having tea by it, but that was my first ever real fireplace experience, and I loved it. The latest I have touched is the one in Jane Austen's imaginary Northanger Abbey.
The fireplace, where she had expected the ample width and ponderous carvings of former times, was contracted to a Rumford, with slabs of plain though handsome marbles, and ornament over it of the prettiest English ch…

Q without U

These are words that begin with Q and not followed by U; in random order. Is there anything that's not new to you or have you used some in speech, writing, or word games?

1. qadi - an Islamic judge
2. qat - leaves chewed like tobacco or used to make tea
3. qabala - an esoteric or occult matter
4. qi - circulating life energy in Chinese philosophy 
5. qiang - the Tibeto-Burman language spoken in Sichuan
6. qepig - 100 qupig equal 1 manat
7. qabalistic - having a secret or hidden meaning
8. qibla - direction of the Kaaba toward which Muslims turn for daily prayers
9.  qatari - a native or inhabitant of Qatar
10. qing - the last imperial dynasty of China
11. qaid- Muslim tribal chief
12. qiviut - musk-ox wool
13. qanat - underground tunnel for irrigation

More here and on crosswordsolver.
Thanks to Megan and Janet for hosting Thursday Thirteen

Sense and Sensibility: 200th anniversary

In 1811 Thomas Egerton of Whitehall, London published Sense and Sensibility. Quick math shows it has been two centuries since Jane Austen became a full-fledged author.

Quite an anniversary, indeed. A celebration, I declare.

Blogs regarding the publication anniversary of this romance novel picture Jane Austen's engagements whilst making the final touches of her manuscript from Sloane Street. In letters to her sister Cassandra, Jane gave accounts of her shopping for muslin, the party that their brother Henry and SIL Eliza gave; mentioned several acquaintances, and referred to her book as S and S.

As a fan I wonder which between sense and sensibility did JA deem more important since she portrayed both attributes equally well. I'm obliged to enthuse over my S & S reading experience. Alas, I only managed fourteen chapters before getting sidetracked by another novel, the very first that JA wrote. I will resume and complete my affair with the celebrant before 2011 ends.

This post i…