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.

Inaugural Blog

Well here it is, without fanfare nor shattering of champagne, my blog. Carefully pouring champagne into glasses and proposing some type of toast is far more my style anyway. No one wants to clean sticky alcohol and glass shards from their web page. Especially one so nice, new, and clean.

So I suppose I should start by telling you something about myself. I’m a wife and mother. I have a full time job doing accounting. I am starting a web design business on the side. Feel free to visit Añoranzas de Costa Rica to see a work in progress. I’ve also set up hastonline.com mostly to keep up with family and friends. That’s very likely how you found yourself here. Someday soon there will be a site devoted to my design endeavors.

I don’t really know what I will wind up writing about here. I’m sure I will write about what it is like starting my home business. I’ll write about my family. I may even decide I need to blog about the news. I won’t promise that you will always be entertained, but I’m not holding a gun to your head making you read it either.

All that said, have a cup of coffee and enjoy the time you spend here.