The Immortal Game

Kenneth Kidd interviews David Shenk in the Toronto Star:

Do you ever fantasize about teaching chess to some religious fundamentalists?

What a great question. I should actually try to do this some time — just spend time studying how someone who thinks in this fundamentalist way most of the time is also a chess player, because I really see it as a contradiction.

If I got into this line of thinking, philosophically, they probably would be offended and kick me out and it wouldn’t be much of a conversation.

There are some cultures, like the Taliban and when Khomeni ruled Iran, where chess in all its nuances is just too much for them, and they literally ban it. I think they understand intuitively that it’s a sign of this complex, nuanced way of thinking.

More here.