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The Magic of Chess

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 10, 2020

In this charming short film, The Magic of Chess, some young competitors at the National Elementary Chess Championship explain what they find so intriguing about the game. From an Atlantic piece on the film:

The children interviewed in the film are articulate and wise beyond their years. “When I asked the kids questions like, ‘What has chess taught you?,’ I was surprised, given their limited life experience, that they could formulate a response beyond the obvious mechanics of the game,” Schweitzer Bell told me.

Chess “teaches you how to make a plan,” one child says in the film.

“When you lose, you learn from your mistakes,” says another.

I was curious about the tournament, so I looked up the results and the standings are so full of Asian, Indian, Latino, and other non-European language names that my browser offered to translate the page for me. Another thing that jumped out at me was that most of the top competitors in the K-6 competition were 6th graders, except for 2nd grader Aditya Arutla finishing in 8th place. Wow!