Oxymoron

I could use something a little lighter.  You?

This is the weirdest thing I’ve seen in a while.

Chessboxing.  No, I did not make it up.  Here is how they describe it.

The basic idea in chessboxing is to combine the #1 thinking sport and the #1 fighting sport into a hybrid that demands the most of its competitors – both mentally and physically.

This definitely makes my list of things I never thought would happen.

Check Mate!

My kid beat me at chess yesterday. First time ever. He was so excited, and I am so proud of him. He beat me fair and square. I did not let him win. It was a very clean check mate. I’m going to have to work harder to stay competitive with my 8 year old.

He had his first tournament on Saturday, September 29th. He didn’t win anything individually, but his team took first and second place. I’ve mentioned the Chess Club here before. These kids are really amazing. Provided my son can keep up with his schoolwork and behavior in class, his next tournament will be October 20th. He’s bound to just keep getting better. And I’ve already noticed a change in his level of motivation at school.

Feel free to visit IdaFreemanChess.com, shop in the store. It helps the team.

Chess Club


Ah chess! Everyone thinks of a sophisticated, thought-provoking game. It is not generally thought of as a pursuit for the masses. The mental image is that of 2 old men playing for hours in the neighborhood park. Imagine my surprise when I took my son to school for his first day in the first grade when I saw about 10 chess boards spread out in the elementary school cafeteria.
This is the home of the #2 ranked chess team in the nation. Who would have thought you would find it at an elementary school in this rundown neighborhood? Here is a group of kids, many of whom qualify for the free or reduced lunch program, playing “the King’s Game” and quite well I must add. This school is very focused on war between blacks and whites but it has nothing to due with race.
“The Blue Hoard,” as they’ve been dubbed, swarms into state tournaments and takes home wins. These kids are not just the gifted and talented, and they are a long way from privileged. Here chess is the great equalizer. These kids are good, but they don’t brag about it. As Mr.Nichols says, “They learn sportsmanship. We teach etiquette is number one. Anything that Dennis Rodman ever did on a basketball court is not OK.”
This year, the chess program got even more ambitious. Or they have possibly lost their minds. Previously, chess was open to 5th graders only. In August of 2007, they have introduced Chess Academy. Now chess is open to 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. Provided they meet the requirements, they will all be eligible to play in the in state tournaments. The first night of chess academy was chaos in the cafeteria. 9 large plastic chess pieces were lost on a linoleum floor. But I looked across the sea of chess boards and saw my 3rd grade son shaking hands with his opponent before commencing his game. He’s not a good student. He has the intelligence to be, but not the drive. But he will be a good chess player, and we are hoping that will inspire him to work at is schoolwork.
Yes, they will need money. Yes, donations are tax deductible. Yes, everyone involved needs their head examined. I’m not requesting money, but I can provide information on where to send your donations if you are interested.