Thursday, May 10, 2007

Josh Waitzkin and The Art of Learning

Josh Waitzkin discusses himself, and his new book, The Art of Learning, in this 10 minute video clip. You can watch the video here.

I had the pleasure of meeting Josh at my son's chess tournament last weekend. What a warm, gracious, and caring human being. He's also a very good public speaker.

I'm also reading his book, The Art of Learning. I am about 2/3 of the way through it, and it is an interesting read. He's trying to coalesce his understanding of how he got to be so good in both chess and Push Hands Tai Chi. I'll provide a comprehensive review in a week or so.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Slate article on scholastic chess

There's a new article in Slate about scholastic chess, which you can read here. It slogs through the typical "state of scholastic chess today" and makes the point (not new, but certainly interesting) that chess has moved its image from its image as being populated by nerdy, obsessive loners, and moving more into the mainstream. That movement is not a natural evolution, but by the emergence of Fischer in the early 1970s, and a certain movie in the early 1990s (see below!).

On a related note, there is a scholastic chess tournament at Princeton Day School this Saturday, May 5th. While these tournaments at PDS are a monthly occurrence, this one is notable because the tournament organizer (Bonnie Waitzkin) has enlisted her son Josh Waitzkin (yes, the same kid depicted in Searching for Bobby Fischer) to speak and sign autographs prior to the tournament. Josh Waitzkin gave up competitive chess several years ago, and then went ahead, trained, and became the world champion of "push-hands" Tai Chi. His drive and determination are pretty impressive.