I’m giving up YA fiction until I have some sustained time to do it, and am having lots of fun writing a novel about chess (well, it’s ‘about’ chess in the same way that The Push is ‘about’ The Push, but we won’t quibble about that) for upper primary kids. Chess is suprisingly well suited to narrative, and the other bonus is that chess players, being such a delightfully nerdy lot, have obliged me by providing a bunch of quotes that are usefully metaphorical, and which my fictional chess coach, based on my real chess coach husband, can quote. I particularly like H.G. Wells’ ‘There is no remorse like the remorse of chess’, although I wouldn’t vouch for its accuracy.
But I was bothered by a quote attributed to Kasparov, saying that ‘Women, by their nature, are not exceptional chess players: they are not great fighters.’ I think he means in a competitive sense, rather than in a general sense of being able to struggle, but nevertheless I want to take issue with it, because I’ll put money on the fact that women have the aptitude to play chess, but I suspect they dont’ have the desire. I’m not sure sure this article is the answer either. Food for thought.