Letter of the week: Rafa Benitez can teach South Tyneside youngsters lessons about more than just football

Rafa Benitez could teach South Tyneside youngsters a thing or two, claims our writer.
Rafa Benitez could teach South Tyneside youngsters a thing or two, claims our writer.

I bet many of you didn’t know that Rafa Benitez was a keen chess player.

I bet many of you didn’t know that Rafa Benitez was a keen chess player.

He was taught the game as a child and, undoubtedly, it helped him develop his strategic thought processes and he has used this throughout his life .

Chess is one of those sports that despite being played by more than 600million people in the world it has a reputation for being a game for clever people only.

I was taught the basic moves of the game by my father, and then more at school.

During my school years in the late 1970s competitive chess was actively played by all the schools in my home town of Bradford. Then over the following years it seems the game like

many after-schools sports activities suffered from cut backs and other pressures faced by teachers on their time and these days seems only to be played in the more forward thinking

schools. I am not sure that it is encouraged in South Tyneside but I could be proved wrong .

When I look back to my school years I realised that many of the lessons I learnt are now long forgotten but the lessons I learnt through the game of chess, the ability to concentrate, to

create strategies and tactics, to think ahead and lookout for consequence of my actions, to find a win or a draw from a losing situation are still with me and like Rafa, and others like him,

I have used those lessons to help me through my career.

Chess is not for the high brow elite, it is a game for people in all walks of life and is a great leveller. Where else could you see a nine-year-old take on older opponents and win easily. Can

you imagine the confidence that it must give these young people?

Dust out your old chess set and let’s teach the younger generation that there is life outside of Facebook and smart phones. I guarantee it won’t be long before they beat you easily .

Eddie Czestochowski,

Committee Member South Shields Chess Club