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Chess for Success: Using an Old Game to Build New Strengths in Children and Teens Paperback – August 9, 2005
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“Maurice Ashley has been like a brother to me since I was twelve years old. I know the man, I know the competitor, I know the artist, and I know the teacher. There is no better source for the abundance of educational potential bubbling from the game of chess. Read this book!” —Josh Waitzkin, International Chess Master and subject of the book and film Searching for Bobby Fischer.
“It’s a great message of hope, that chess can be one piece of the puzzle to help our young people shine. It’s what we all want for our kids.” —Will Smith
Top Customer Reviews
The book is written as a kind of pean to the benefits of chess play for children, and Ashley lists the kinds of success chess has created for inner-city youth across the United States. There are testimonials (somewhat overdone), as well as sections where Ashley backs up these testimonials, citing specific studies. These studies include sections where Ashley regurgitates research on the psychology of "flow", as well as where Ashley presents digested explanations of chess's relationship to the "40 Developmental Assets" and to Bloom's taxonomy theory. With all the chearleading and feel-good stories, at times this book reads like a drawn-out Reader's Digest article, but the book has enough meat, however, to transcend that stereotype, and there are enough concepts repackaged and digested to make the reading worthwhile. Early in the book, Ashely presents the reader with a brief history of chess (presumably written to get the chess neophytes up to speed).
There is a well-written chapter on how to motivate young girls to play chess, and there is a final chapter where Ashley waxes philosophic about psychological aspects of chess play. This last chapter is the best, and reminds me of the interview Ashley gave in Chess Life, in 1999, right after he became a Grandmaster. In this last chapter, Ashley talks about how to handle "chaos" over the chessboard and how to "think like a child" again.Read more ›
Just a few days ago, while searching for some books on commercial real estate, I came upon Chess for Success on the shelves. Being somewhat intrigued, I took it and a few other chess books off the shelves, and two days later, after reading Chess for Success first, I pulled out my old copy of Chessmaster 8000 and started reading a book on chess openings. By the time I began writing these words, a profound change had overcome my very being.
You see, thinking back on it, back in grade school when I played chess with a school chum, everything seemed to be so easy. Schoolwork was a breeze. Math problems were trivial, computer programming on the Apple II (yes, I am THAT old) was a walk in the park, and all was well in my world. Homework? Never had any- probably because I had done it all for the entire week by Monday's lunch period. Though I sucked at sports, I excelled in scholarship, and by the time I hit high school, I was hitting my academic stride. I stopped playing chess for a time, and suddenly, geometry was difficult. Back on the chess, I finished not only geometry, but also knocked off all of algebra II for good measure.Read more ›
Maurice Ashley's personal story is an interesting one. He was born in Jamaica where he and his siblings were primarily raised by their grandmother in poverty. His mother had left for the United States where she was working in order to help support her family back home and save enough money to send for her children. Maurice struggled with feelings of abandonment, all the while fantasizing about the wonderful life in America that would soon be his. After ten years of living apart, he was finally reunited with his mother when he came to live with her in New York City. Aside from the awkward period of adustment to living with his mother, Maurice also had to deal with the shock and disappointment when he realized that although he was now in the U.S., he would continue to live in poverty. As an intelligent young boy, he had little trouble adjusting to the new school academically. However, he struggled socially, as there was no real group with whom he fit. Maurice truly found himself when he ran across a book in the library about chess, this was but the beginning of a lifelong love.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a way of life which enlighten your decision making when you can anticipate the following moves.I recommend this book to everyone.Published 14 months ago by Oschye
This book is an amazing represention of what is terrific about chess and why it is so influential as the 'world's game'.Published on September 21, 2012 by kar
This book is written for parents, teachers, mentors that want to teach chess to children. I have read many chess for children books and this is hands down the best. Read morePublished on August 7, 2012 by Leslie G Nelson
This book was a great read. I have three young kids and, prior to reading this, no desire to play chess myself. Read morePublished on July 19, 2012 by Amber
I often talk with many chess enthusiasts who agree that many of the lessons and principles that represent the elements of a successful chess player are directly applicable in all... Read morePublished on July 22, 2011 by TW
This is a great book. Maurice Ashley became one of my heroes because he did "it" for others before doing "it" for himself. From this book I learned a lot about his biography. Read morePublished on December 16, 2007 by Andre L. Wilson