I am a founding member of the Blackstone Millville Regional Junior Senior High School chess club.
Quite an accomplishment.
I checked with my alma mater. The chess club no longer exists. Honestly, I’m not sure if it even continued to exist during my time at the school. But for a brief period of time, possibly a couple months, there was a chess club at my high school, and I played a role in its establishment.
As you can imagine, my membership in this esteemed organization did little by way of helping me get girls.
I also played chess with my unorthodox high school French teacher, Mr. Maroney, who I have written about before. I played more chess with Mr. Maroney than any other human being on the planet.
I also taught my wife to play chess while on our honeymoon in Bermuda.
We’re wild and crazy that way.
Oddly, I have no idea who taught me how to play chess. I have no recollection of my parents teaching me or even playing the game, but by the time I arrived in high school, I understood the game well enough to think that a chess club was a good idea.
I teach my own students to play chess today. They love the game. Many contact me long after they have left my classroom to inform me that they continue to play today.
Chess has been a game that I have enjoyed for a long time, but I would’ve loved it more, and perhaps done better with the ladies, had chessboxing existed when I was younger.
Yes. You heard it right.
Opponents alternate rounds between chess and boxing, between a cerebral pursuit and a savage one. They will win by checkmate or knockout, or the judges’ scorecards.
Can you believe it? Chessboxing is a real thing. It was invented by Dutch performance artist Iepe Rubingh as an art performance and has subsequently grown into a competitive sport. It’s especially popular in Germany, the United Kingdom, and Russia. It’s also become more popular among young, poor women in India where the sport has been seen as an alternative to traditional roles.
Advance a pawn or two. Capture a knight. Punch your opponent in the head. Advance another pawn. Protect a rook with a bishop. Punch your opponent in the head again.
This is a sport made for me.
It’s not often that I feel like I was born at the wrong time in history, but this might be one of those rare times.