Sunday, March 26, 2017

"Chess Country" on CBS 60 Minutes, as a professor mentors grade school kids in rural Mississippi

Sunday night CBS 60 Minutes, in a segment called “Chess Country”, showed how Dr. Jeff Burlington has mentored kids in Franklin County, Mississippi, teaching the basics of chess, story link here.

The kids eventually take a bus trip to Nashville, analyzing positions on the bus, and play in a huge tournament in the Opry Center.  Although school loses 30 of 32 first round games, it places well at the end, with one kid winning a crucial game with White on an opponent’s blunder (the opponent was higher rated) after the opponent offered a draw.

The townspeople say that the mentor was glad to teach chess to “hillbillies”.  But John Grisham comes from Mississippi.  There is now a chess center in the county seat of Meadville (in SW Mississippi).
I did notice that a number of the kids looked obese.  That isn't so good.  World champion Magnus Carlsen is also a fitness buff, to all appearances/

Is this volunteer activity I should do?  I do play the game well enough to teach it to “beginners”.  My highest rating ever was about 2000.  There are programs around the country for inner city kids.  There is a group in northern Virginia that holds “chess for charity” events at a local Catholic school.

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