Chess is the Key to Improving Mental Skills!
Private Chess Lessons
I give private lessons at your place
I also give chess lessons to the non-chess players!
Chess and I
Sometime before I was in the sixth grade (ok...so I don't remember dates too well!), my dad learned how to play chess. Gene Lacey, a friend and co-worker at T.S.T.I. (Texas State Technical Institute), gave him a book on how to play chess. My dad was the type who didn't like to lose (that's where I got that from!). So, instead of playing his co-workers, he taught me how to play. Needless to say, he defeated me very handily. Since I also didn't like to lose, I borrowed his book and read it and learned how to play much better. After winning a few games, my dad decided it wasn't just a fluke and quite playing me. Instead, he took me to the local high school tournament.
I did fairly well in that first tournament. In my second tournament, I won two games and drew one. The kid I drew was a senior taught by Bill Janes (the reigning champion in Central Texas) and expected to win the tournament hands down. My dad then started taking me to the Greater Waco Chess Club and I started playing in tournaments with the adults.
As a freshman, I won the 1983 Central Texas High School Open. Shortly thereafter, I won the Brilliancy Award (best game) in the 1983 T.S.T.I. Open. My senior year, I and a friend (Brian Wallace) won the Team Champion award in the 1986 Central High School Open. During my freshman year in college, I won 2nd Place in the Central Texas Candidates tournament.
Chess slowly began to take a back seat in my life over the next few years (gee, working can keep you VERY busy!). I have recently started playing again and am preparing to re-enter tournament competition.
Chess and "Smarts"
Many people mistakenly think you have to be real "smart" to play chess. They have nightmares believing to play chess well, you have to spend hours thinking moves upon moves in your head. In most competition tournaments, this is true. But, like most games, chess has basic principles that can be fairly quickly learned to dramatically improve your game. Chess can also be played very quickly in "speed games."
The actual truth is that chess can improve your mental skills! Just like physical skills can be improved through practice, so can mental skills. Chess teaches logical thinking, planning, decision making, etc. Before high school, I was a good student (in about the bottom of the top 10% of my class). By the time, I graduated I was third in my class. I can't say it was all due to chess, but I believe it had a significant impact on that change.
So, if you'd like to improve your mental skills (and have fun at the same time) by learning how to play chess (and play it well):