Saturday, January 16, 2010

Plano, Chess, and Texas Tech

Small World!

I introduced myself to a gentleman giving a chess lesson at my neighborhood coffee shop and discovered he was from New Orleans. Alfred Carlin has been the Louisiana State Chess Champion 5 times. He is missed as a chess teacher in New Orleans, as mentioned in this article, in the section "Scholastic Drought".

Chess and Scholastic Achievement

If New Orleans had to lose Mr. Carlin, I'm glad he came here so our children can benefit from his chess instruction. The Plano schools require student participation in Choir or Band in 6th grade because studies show a connection between music and scholastic achievement. Similar studies have shown that playing chess improves scholastic achievement. Alfred Carlin was tutoring students at the coffee shop and I'll wager his students do well in school.

Chess at Texas Tech

Many students from Plano go to Texas Tech. You will be happy to hear that a chess team from Tech tied for 2nd place at the 2009 Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship held Dec. 27-30 on South Padre Island. A chess team from Tech tied with a team from UT Dallas, which has been a national powerhouse in chess for years. The Tech A team defeated Princeton, University of Texas at Austin and Stanford University. The Raiders B team defeated Yale University’s B team.

Texas Tech has Grandmaster Susan Polgar heading SPICE: the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence. Grandmaster Polgar, born in Budapest, Hungary, now lives in Lubbock. I'm happy to see a major Texas university like Texas Tech bringing world-class talent to Texas to help our students achieve at the highest levels.

It's great to see talented teachers like Alfred Carlin in the Dallas/Plano area and Susan Polgar in Lubbock helping our children compete at the highest levels.

Robert Canright

PS: I can help you contact Alfred Carlin if you so desire.