10 April 2014

'Something I Always Wanted To Do'

Last month, in GM Capital's Patrick Wolff, I posted about a Barron's article on a former U.S. champion who had moved to the investment world. Later in the month I discovered another Barron's article (*) about a basketball star who had taken up chess: Carmelo Anthony: Chess King; 'While Contemplating His Future, Knicks Star Reveals Affinity for Game'.

Anthony recently found the courage to admit, 'I'm a chess player'.

Asked about his chess-playing, Anthony said he'd spent considerable time reading about the game in hopes of being able to teach himself how to play. He said he has most frequently found himself locked in competition against family friends at off-season dinner parties.

"Just over the last couple years," said the 29-year-old forward, who posted an Instagram photo of famous chess player Bobby Fischer earlier in the month. "It's something I always wanted to do, but after a while I figured it was so complicated that I'd never be able figure it out. I still don't have it down pat to where I'm some expert. But I've figured out the basics to where it's something that I'll have for life."

What sets Anthony apart is the age at which he chose to pick up the game. According to figures compiled by the United States Chess Federation [USCF], the average player is between 9 and 10 years old when he or she joins the organization.

While I'm not sure about the comment that the 'average player is between 9 and 10 years old when he or she joins', I am sure that sports stars who play chess are not so unusual. A few years ago I put together an image gallery about a football star, Chess and Shaun Alexander at Madrona Elementary School, Seattle [about.com -> archive.org]. And let's not forget the Klitschko brothers.

(*) This Barrons.com article redirects to WSJ.com; both publications belong to the same group.

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