That six-year-old Bobby was beating thirty-six-year-old Regina and eleven-year-old Joan, as brilliant as both were, is significant in understanding his rapidly evolving mastery of chess, and himself. It gave the boy confidence and built his self-esteem. The problem was that neither mother nor sister ever really wanted to play. “My mother has an anti-talent for chess,” Bobby once told an interviewer. “She’s hopeless.” Since Bobby couldn’t find a worthy opponent, or any opponent for that matter, he made himself his principal adversary. Setting up the men on his tiny board, he’d play...
Because there are a myriad of such variations, it’s difficult for most players to internalize even a small portion. For example, there are 400 different possible positions after two players make one move each, and there are 72,084 positions after two moves each—not all good,
Morphy’s Games of Chess, which displayed the great player’s tactical ingenuity and his adherence to three general principles: rapid development of one’s pieces, the importance of occupying or capturing the center squares of the board, and mobility—the necessity of keeping lines, ranks, files, and diagonals open.
progressive grade school of approximately 150 children. Housed in a stately brownstone that had originally been a private home, it was one of the loveliest school buildings in Brooklyn. The school’s philosophy of education was based on the principles of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, an eighteenth-century Swiss educator who opposed memorization exercises and strict discipline, and concentrated on the individual’s development though a series of experimental techniques. The school promoted the concept of Anschaung, a personal way of looking at things that was inherent and individual to every child.