Chess provides healing touch
11/23/2010 8:38:06 AM
By Kay Fate
The Post-Bulletin, Austin MN

There seems to be plenty of scientific and medical proof that chess is good for you.

But forget all the studies and research — there’s no need to look any further than Bill Cox.

A brain hemorrhage in 2005 left Cox, then 62, flat on his back, unable to speak or move.

It was devastating, his wife, Nancy, admits.

“But he’s very determined,” she said.

A planned 18-month stay in a rehabilitation facility lasted less than four months, thanks to Cox’s hard work.

Still, though, life as the couple knew it was over. They sold their St. Peter farm and moved to Austin to be closer to a daughter.

About two years ago, they walked into the pool room at the Mower County Senior Center and asked if anyone there played chess.

Les Traff’s eyes lit up, Nancy Cox remembers.

“I hadn’t played for 15 years,” Traff said.

He welcomed the opportunity to dust off his exemplary skills.

So, for the past two years, he and Cox have met at the board twice a week, often joined by Robert Hebl.

“We take turns beating each other,” Traff smiled.

While the friendly competition seems low-key enough, something major is happening in the meantime.

Cox, his wife said, can’t wait to get to the senior center every Wednesday and Thursday.

“He’s so excited about it,” she said. “He’s out of bed by 8:30, getting ready. It makes his day, and it’s doing him so much good. He’s using his brain; it’s making him think.”

More here.

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