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Parenting a chess player may be harder than playing the game

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That makes me feel better as a sport parent because it tells me that becoming a parent levels the playing field between the famous and the average sport parent. Technically, chess is classified as a sport, covered by ESPN, and subject to the same kind of governance as other sporting bodies because it’s played in teams. Chess has coaches both good and atrocious, too.

The Chess in the Olympics Campaign says that there are at least 605 to 700 million people worldwide who play chess — that's more than the entire population of US, Russia, Mexico, and Japan combined, or 8.6 percent of all humans inhabiting the Earth. There are 8 million registered chess players representing over 160 countries. On the Internet, there are as many as 200 million people playing chess.

The thing that’s really important with chess is not the trophy but the win-win educationally for a child. 

“I run a school in Russian and I can say without hesitation that you take a child, any child, and teach them chess and I promise you one year later this is a completely different child in many ways,” Kosteniuk says. “You see a child learn critical thinking, better overall life judgments, and confidence. It is that prize we should want as parents for our children most of all.”

Speaking of what sports parents want, Chess parents are just as notorious for outbursts as those in soccer, Pee Wee football, and any other sports where the worst in us emerges as the parental protective mechanism kicks in and merges with the thrill of battle haze.

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