Young athletes turn to chess for strategic skill development
Hockey player became a chess master after three years of competition
CBC News Posted: Aug 22, 2016 10:28 PM ET
Henry Zang says he’s a better hockey player because of his love of chess.
The 13-year-old athlete plays Windsor Spitfire Bantam Minor hockey and a host of other sports. He is also ranked as a chess Master after three years of competition.
Zhang is part of a growing community of athletes learning chess, says his coach and chess National Master Vlad Drkulec.
“It’s very good as far as teaching strategy,” Drkulec said, “Also there are many lessons you can learn by playing chess. One of which is you need to consider your next move carefully. If you don’t consider you next move carefully, it’s easy to have a game fall apart.”
Zhang agrees. He told CBC News chess and sports have complimented each other.
“Both of them are good for the other,” he said. “For chess you need to be strong mentally and physically. Then for sports you need to be strong for both also.”
Other athletes have turned to chess as well. Zhang broke out a chess board during a hockey tournament recently and his teammates couldn’t get enough.
The players ended up having their own chess tournament between hockey games.
Zhang’s love for chess started when he was about six. His mom noticed his talent right away and hired a tutor. He excelled quickly.
Drkulec points out Zhang is one of about 100 chess masters in Canada. But Zhang hasn’t reached his goal yet. He plans on becoming an International Master.