August 16, 2016 |
You may be thrilled by the feats of swimmer Katie Ledecky, mesmerized by the grace of the women gymnasts, startled by Rio spectators mocking U.S. soccer star Hope Solo with chants of "Zika! Zika!" (the first recorded instance, noted one wit, of a stadium rocking to the invocation of a virus). Allow me, however, to interrupt the prepackaged, heart-tugging, tape-delayed Olympic coverage to bring you the real sporting news of the year. It has just been announced that on Nov. 11 in New York City, the World Chess Championship will begin.
September 25, 2015 |
A PAIR of interesting movies this year have looked at the Cold War from the standpoint of its proxy warriors. Reluctant warriors, often - men who excelled at chess or hockey and were drafted, often unofficially and against their will, into a high-stakes struggle between superpowers. The fascinating documentary "Red Army" looked at this dynamic through the eyes of the Red Army hockey team and its cagey leader, Viacheslav Fetisov. Now comes "Pawn Sacrifice," a weirdly trippy movie that recreates the monumental 1972 chess match between tormented American chess prodigy Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire)
May 29, 2015 |
RESISTANCE IS futile. The crew of the starship Enterprise in "Star Trek" learned this well. And so, too, did Mayor Nutter and former Mayors Ed Rendell and Wilson Goode Sr. - at least when it came to Marciene Mattleman. When Mattleman, the feisty and unrelenting advocate for Philadelphia's children, called the Mayor's Office to ask for the city's assistance with one of her many new educational ideas, some of which came to her in the middle of the night, resistance was, well, "impossible.
April 10, 2015 |
SCIENCE AND MATH teacher Jason Bui knew a few years back that he wanted to start an after-school chess club at S. Weir Mitchell Elementary, at 55th Street and Kingsessing Avenue, in Kingsessing. The pupils who joined the club - which he named the Minor Threats after the early-'80s hard-core punk band Minor Threat - had no idea that chess would have an impact on their minds, their attitudes and their families. "By the time we were the Minor Threats, I was already seeing an impact," said Bui, 33, who this year moved to Andrew Hamilton Elementary, on Spruce Street near 56th, West Philadelphia.
February 2, 2015 |
Mayor Nutter met his match Saturday afternoon in a game of chess, beaten by one of Philadelphia's best players - 12-year-old Candida Layla Wilcox. She didn't hesitate to say why Nutter lost. "He wasn't really controlling the center, so he didn't really think long and hard on his first couple of moves," said Candida, an honor-roll student at the cyber charter school Commonwealth Connections Academy. "After I pinned him in, I got him in checkmate. " It took her less than 15 minutes to hand the mayor his defeat.
June 8, 2014 |
Maurice Ashley, the first African American international chess grand master, captivated a crowd of young chess players and coaches Friday with his story of perseverance, describing his rise from a tough Brooklyn neighborhood to the highest possible rank for competitors of their beloved game. The first lesson of greatness, Ashley told the 6- to 18-year-old players gathered at the National Constitution Center is sacrifice. He recalled learning that lesson from his mother, who left him and his siblings with their grandmother in their native Jamaica for 10 years while she worked in the United States to earn enough money to bring her children.
April 15, 2014 |
WENDELL M. WATIES was one of those old-fashioned doctors whom they just don't make anymore. He made house calls; he was on the sidelines at high school football games, ready to run out on the field when a player was hurt. He worked 12-hour days at his office on Girard Avenue at 58th Street, West Philadelphia, opening his doors at 7 a.m. and not going home until 7 p.m., or later. However, the weekends and vacation time belonged to his family. "He worked all those hours, but on the weekends he focused on us," said his daughter, Carol Waties.
April 10, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA Balla Dembele's eyes were glued to the chess board in front of him, a knight in one hand and a half-eaten, mustard-lathered pretzel in the other. As soon as he took his right thumb off the knight, his heart sank. He knew that he had just given the game to his opponent, District Attorney Seth Williams. "You made me sweat there a bit," Williams told Dembele, 11, as the two looked up and shook hands. "I caught a lucky break. " Dembele and Williams were among the more than 70 Philadelphia public-school students and District Attorney's Office staff who were on hand Tuesday afternoon for the annual Philadelphia Scholastic Chess League All-Star Match.
March 18, 2014 |
Desmond is a fun-loving, playful 8-year-old who enjoys running, and proudly declares that he can run fast. He also likes spending time with his friends, playing chess, and going to the beach. Reading is another favorite pastime, and he often can be found absorbed in a good book. He recently visited the Academy of Natural Sciences and was thrilled by the dinosaur exhibit - especially T. Rex. After the tour, he dug for bones and played with interactive tablets. It was a day he will long remember.
March 12, 2014 |
Philadelphia students, including an eighth grader with a nationally certified master rating, captured 110 awards at the Pennsylvania State Scholastic Chess Championships this weekend. It was a big haul for the group of more than 130 youths, sponsored by After School Activities Partnerships, whose trip to the tournament in central Pennsylvania was paid for by the family of the late Philip Lindy, a longtime supporter of the chess program at ASAP. "We have 3,200 kids playing chess every week in Philadelphia," said Marciene S. Mattleman, founder of ASAP, which promotes after-school recreation and enrichment in the city's most underserved neighborhoods.