The Chess Dad

Growing up, one of my favorite movies was "Searching for Bobby Fischer" with Joe Mantegna and Lawrence Fishburne. A fantastic movie about a boy coming of age and finding a balance between the things he loved, his family, his friends, baseball and Chess.

Part of my love for the movie was my love of the game of Chess. A love that developed back in Junior High School and has grown through the years. Unfortunately, the love extended me to one local tournament. Unfortunately, I was not able to put in the time I wanted towards the game.

While watching the movie, one of the things that puzzled me was the behavior of the parents, not only toward the other parents, but to their children. Pushing them to get better. I vowed if I were to ever have kids, that I would not force activities on them, I would let them develop interest and initiate their participation in activities.

On his first year of Kindergarden, I found it interesting that his interest gravitated towards the game of Chess. His school has a good chess program and he was taking chess after school at the tender age of 5. A few months later, Bradley asked me to attend his first tournament. And suddenly the life of the movie became my life.

I have tried hard not to push him and be very supportive. Taking him to the chess shop, paying games, and plating with the clock, and lately teaching him how to deal with losing and working to play better. As a result, and with his regular companion of friends attending, his interest has grown.

So, now I am a Chess dad. As always, I am trying my best to be the best Chess dad I can be. I am about to take Brad to his 5th tournament, and I think that each event brings me and him closer together, through our love of Chess.