Sports and Activities is a crucial element of the BJP experience; however, as with everything else this year, it had to be adapted to square with the realities of the pandemic. Unjustly robbed of their basketball season, the 8th Grade Boys were faced with the question of how to spend their Sports and Activities time in the winter months.
Popular culture, in the end, supplied the answer, and they settled on chess. I confess, as of writing this I have not seen The Queen’s Gambit. Still, I credit the show for putting chess in the cultural conversation, and for ultimately leading BJP’s 8th Grade Boys to a rewarding pursuit in these cold winter months.
Still, like many girls and boys their age, they are also motivated by a spirit of competition--a friendly one, I hasten to add. Over the past weeks we have found joy and humor in winning and in losing, in talking smack and whining about our mistakes. To quote Bobby Fischer: “That's what chess is all about. One day you give your opponent a lesson, the next day they give you one,” and we’ve enjoyed our afternoons giving lessons to one another. In a time of uncertainty and restriction, chess has provided us a structured, yet liberating, space to play and think creatively.