Teaching Kids to Cheat at Chess

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It’s easier if you cheat!

Let me hear it again. “I send my children to public schools to get ‘socialized’ there because____________.” Fill in the blank and win a tin foil hat.

Henderson Middle School in El Paso, Texas, recently won the U.S. Chess Federation’s National Scholastic (K-9) Championship… not! They’re going to be stripped of the title because they cheated (http://www.startribune.com/burnsville-chess-team-may-get-national-championship-after-texas-team-found-to-have-cheated/506849112/).

It was “organized and directed” by the coach, said the USCF. To prepare for the national tournament, the Henderson team entered some lesser tournaments and threw “virtually all their games.” All those losses drove their ratings down, which translated into easier match-ups–much easier!–in the national tournament. The practice is common enough to have a common name: “sandbagging.” I’ve encountered it myself, at online chess sites.

The coach denies everything and says “inconsistent play” is to be expected because his players come from “economically disadvantaged backgrounds,” so there–take that, you racists, you!

Anyhow, the USCF is going to take back all the laurels and bestow them on the team that came in second… And then someday there’ll be a TV movie about how all themb Biggits conspired to strip these Poor Kids of their hard-earned glory… and it’s Donald Trump’s fault! Break out the violins.

Two lessons have been taught here.

*If you have to cheat to get what you want, cheat.

*When you get caught cheating, play the race card every time.

And that about sums up public schooling, nowadays.

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

7 responses to “Teaching Kids to Cheat at Chess

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