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Chess: a sport for stutterers!

Posted Mar 28 2008 12:00am
You probably don't know that I played a lot of chess when I was a teenager. I even managed to participate in the World Junior Chess Championships in Chile in 1990, in Romania in 1991, and in the Netherlands in 1992 for my country However, let me tell you straightaway that I am no Kasparov or Fisher and I always finished up in the bottom of the tournament. Being from Luxembourg, your chances of being one of the best is a bit larger than in the US or Germany, for we only have half a million inhabitants! :-) So I am a strong club player on the local level with an international rating of 2040, but the weakest on an international level. I only started to play in a club at the age of 16, far too late. All grandmasters and international masters start at 12 or earlier. The reason I didn't post for a few days is that I qualified for and played at the national championship, after a pause of more than 10 years of real competitive chess. I did OK against semi-professional chess players with relatively little preparation.
In a sense chess is an ideal sport for someone who stutters. You don't have talk, you just need to move your pieces around. It is a very good practise for mental control, strategic thinking, concentration, patience, willingness to accept risks, handling difficult situation and so on. Chess also allows you to build up self-confidence, and very importantly prevents you from blaming your defeats on your stuttering. My only issue is when I want to propose a draw ("a remis"). It even happened to me once, that I just couldn't say it and so I just told myself: f**k it, I am going to win this game and continued playing. :-)
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