Train Your Mind

Train Your Mind

Feb 28, 2022

Jason placed the chess set on the sideboard and waited patiently while we finished dinner.  

A few minutes earlier, I overheard a conversation in which he proclaimed his supreme reign over the household and sought a new challenge.  

I was appointed.

As the plates cleared, I smiled at Jason.

“Fire it up,” I said.

He dumped out the pieces and began to line them up.  

By a mistaken placement of the queen, I realized that his repertoire might stand a few tricks.  

I wondered what I might learn from the encounter. 

Pawn to King Four.  

Here we go.

Family members trickled in and out during the first game, made their way outside to the Jacuzzi while Jason and I sat at the kitchen table. 

A bishop, rook and knight later, I offered to spin the board around, swap sides.

“Naw,” he declined. “Let’s play it out.”

“Nice strength of character,” I thought to myself.

I watched him fret and figure, stare intently at the black and white maze. 

I marveled at the concentration, a young mind in training. 

What a welcome sight.

“You want a re-match?” he asked, at the conclusion of round one.

“Sure,” I answered. “You want any pointers, maybe a tip here and there?”

He pondered for a moment before nodding his head.

“The key to chess lies in controlling the center of the board,” I shared. “That’s why I stack so many pieces within striking distance of the central area.”

He nodded again.

“Every move should either fortify your defense or bolster your attack,” I continued. “No throwaways.”

He pushed a pawn forward.

From time to time, I offered a suggestion, asked him to reconsider all angles, plan at least two or three moves ahead.

“It’s hard,” he confessed.

“Sure,” I agreed. “Great mental exercise though. Makes you really rack your brain.”

I laughed out loud when he stepped to the freezer, pulled out an ice pack and held it to his brow.

“This is giving me a monster headache,” he admitted.

“Do you want to stop?” I queried.

“No way.”

He played far better, carefully considering each turn. 

Hovering at the edge of his seat, I could almost feel his intellect simmer as he traced scenario after scenario.  

I realized how much I enjoyed the process and how proud I felt of my young cousin who chose mind development over wasted hours in front of the tube.

How about you?

When did you last dust off your Monopoly, deal a hand of bridge or unearth that old Scrabble?

Do you challenge a crossword puzzle now and again?

What might you find if you left the remote on the shelf and dug into a forgotten toy box?

As we soaked in the hot tub, I congratulated Jason on his improvement.

“Some people think chess is for nerds,” he exclaimed. “They are so wrong. There’s nothing nerdy about it.”

“Not much nerdy about developing your mind.” I asked him what he wanted to do after school.

“I want to become an architect,” he told me.

“A fine choice,” I acknowledged. “A fine choice indeed.”

That’s A View From The Ridge…

Best-selling author, Ridgely Goldsborough has written 19 books to date, 5 on emotional intelligence and has developed a phenomenal program called that you can get absolutely free as a member of the Groove community.