how I started playing chess
I started playing chess in middle school when I was about 11 years old. I was in the tech prep / remedial courses. What happened, well I will explain. I was constantly in trouble and losing my recess. My one teacher gave me the choice between playing chess, or doing extra homework assignments in recess that didn't count for any points. I saw chess as a complex game back than, but hey any game is better than doing homework / work that doesn't count. Imagine you didn't play a game such as backgammon, and your boss told you, you can get paid to either work or play backgammon. You never played it though and it looked so boring, but you said hey, I'll make money playing backgammon instead of arduous work! My point is that I played chess. Eventually by 12 I had a knack for it and I was playing in camp against other boys and scoumasters, etc. A year or two later, I went from remedial / tech prep, whatever you want to call them classes, to gifted classes. I'm not saying this is related to my chess play, but who knows.