LAS VEGAS, NV--(Marketwired - Jul 2, 2014) - Last week four Republican and Democrat congressmen sat down at a table on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., ready to fight. An unusual approach to resolve political disagreements? Not exactly -- they were battling over a game of chess. The idea behind the Congressional Chess Tournament was to raise awareness of the great educational benefits chess has for young people. The lawmakers were supported by a group of teenage chess champions who patiently coached the politicians and explained potential moves and strategies to them. The game was opened by Russian chess Grandmaster, Garry Kasparov, and founder and president of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center, Rex Sinquefield, who made the first six moves before turning the game over to the two teams.
Chess likely has its origins in Eastern India and was first played around 280 CE in the Gupta Empire, which makes it one of the oldest games in the world. And over all those centuries, it has lost nothing of its popularity: When Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen competed against each other in the final of last year's Chess World Championship, up to 80 million viewers were watching them in front of their TVs. And the recent chess event in Washington showed that teenagers can be better at this game than adults: When the Republican team won, the team was quick to admit that it was really due to their young chess advisers, a fact that did not surprise Stanley Tomchin at all.
Stanley Tomchin was once known as the world's most successful games player. But only few people know that Stanley started out as chess player at a very young age and has won numerous recognitions, championships, and prizes within a matter of years. In 1964, he was New York State Chess Champion, followed by his success as the U.S. Junior Co-champion. Even throughout his academic career, chess was an integral part of Stanley's life, making him the Long Island High School Champion and the Cornell University Champion -- a title he held for no less than full four years. Stan remembers his chess playing days well: "I played chess seriously beginning at eight or nine years old [and]... was master when I was thirteen."
What followed was an outstanding career in the gaming industry that led Stanley Tomchin from chess to bridge, on to backgammon and poker. This is old history though. What happened to the brilliant chess wiz after he left the gaming industry? He went on to become a philanthropist, a role that defines Stanley's life today and that he finds hugely satisfying. Causes that Stanley has been supporting over the last twenty years range from Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd projects to local shelters and educational funds. When asked whether he misses playing, Stanley answers without any hesitation: "I teach some tennis, I teach some chess. I like dealing with kids." A few years ago, Stanley was heavily involved in the Big Brother, Little Brother program. He had a ten-year-old boy whom he would meet with once a week and take him on an occasional trip. Presently mentoring two young boys in Santa Barbara, Stanley still focuses on helping young people deal with their problems and the world. "Now I think that making the world a better place is [most] rewarding."
Stanley Tomchin Blog: http://www.StanleyTomchin.com