I saw a little video this morning, at http://www.chesscafe.com , of kids playing chess with chessmen bigger than they were. It was at a grade school (in Ohio, I think), and the point of it seemed to be that chess could be used to exercise the body as well as the mind.
It was part of a series of TV news broadcasts entitled, “Upgrade to a Better You.”
That’s all well and good–but what if I don’t have room for a colossal chessboard–not to mention 32 chessmen the size of totem poles? Where the heck would I store them when I wasn’t playing? Put them in the garage, and there’s no room for your car. Bring them inside, and your wife will take a terrible revenge. Leave them outside, and the neighbors will complain.
No, it just won’t do. It’s a wonderful idea to turn chess into a form of hard physical exercise, in order to Upgrade to a Better You. But there has to be a better way than giant chessmen.
Here are a few helpful suggestions, using an ordinary chess set.
1) Glue the chessmen to the board. The more firmly they’re glued, the more calories you burn trying to wrench one loose so you can move it. The drawback is, it kind of slows up the game.
2) Hire a large, strong person to restrict the movements of your arms. Make sure he can do this without losing his temper and beating you up.
3) Set up the chessboard high up in a tall tree so that you have to climb it every time you want to move.
Obviously it is not easy to achieve a Better You; and there is no guarantee that anyone will like the new You better than the old. In fact, they may find the Better You obnoxious. They may even be inclined to defenestrate the Better You, in hopes that the Old You emerges from the hospital bed someday.