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CHESS

Sigmund Freud, the Viennese physician who invented pyschoanalysis, considered love and work the centerpieces of a healthy psyche. Focusing on chess instead of productive activity in general, Sigbert Tarrasch, the physician-chess champion, came to a similar conclusion. "The game," he said, "like love has the power to make men happy."

Chess is an ideal activity for children because it dynamically combines thought and action. Encouraging exploration and discovery, it appeals to the autodidact in each of us. Rote memory plays virtually no role at all, as it does in many school subjects.

It is interesting that Soviet pedagogues found that chess activity during the school day seemed to increase rather than deplete the energy that children were able to apply to traditional school subjects. During a visit to Russia, a Moscow chess teacher told me his first task was to make his children happy. Then learning would assuredly take place.

Because every chess game is virtually unique, all chess players are pioneers who are continuously extending and exploring frontiers. I recall the astonishment and pleasure I experienced as a 13-year-old, when I found moves in new positions that were hitherto unknown but might even be of interest to world-class players.

A new dimension was added to the concept of learning. For the first time, I had a glimpse of the notion that knowledge was not something mostly found in books, but a continuous discovery in the life process of each of us. Of course, chess is not unique in offering this insight.

Below is a game from the recent World Chess Olympiad between Vassily Ivanchuk of the Ukraine and Julian Radulski of Bulgaria.

Ivanchuk Radulski
1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bg5 a6
4. Ba4 Nf6
5. O-O Be7
6. Re1 b5
7. Bb3 d6
8. a4 Na5
9. Ba2 b4
10. c3 c5
11. d4 cxd4
12. cxd4 Bg4
13. N(b)d2 Bh5
Ivanchuk Radulski
14. Nb3 Nxb3
15. Qxb3 Qb8
16. Nh4 O-O
17. Qg3 Bg6
18. Nxg6 hxg6
19. dxe5 dxe5
20. Bb3 Kh8
21. Qh4ch Kg8
22. Bg5 Rd8
23. Re3 Qd6
24. Rh3 Kf8
25. Qh8ch Ng8
26. Rh7 Bf6
27. Bh6 Ke7
28. Bxg7 Black Resigns

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