Thursday, January 31, 2008

Life lessons

Congratulations to seven-year olds John, Joseph and Madison Riccardi, and to their older brother Tom Riccardi, who started it all.

Playing as a team, the second graders placed eighth in their division at a national chess tournament in Houston, TX in December. A sophomore at Marcellus High School, Tom has six national U.S. Chess Federation titles to his credit.

All are the children of Dr. Tim and Sue Riccardi, and I remember those kids as toddlers. I haven’t seen them in years, but I’ve followed their chess careers in the Post-Standard, including yesterday’s story and photos (click on Photos of the Day: 01.30.08).

It's a great human interest story, their winning ways, and it's a story of family togetherness. There was an item of particular interest in yesterday's report – how the players learn from their mistakes. According to Sue,
Chess has given the triplets a lot of self-confidence, and it's taught them critical thinking. It's also taught John how to lose…[H]e's seen he can learn from (losses).
The family uses dinner time to consider games that have been lost, using a display chessboard on which Tim recreates the sequence of moves. "It's fun to figure out what moves I should have made," Joe is quoted as saying. "It helps me a lot." What a life lesson!

Dr. Tim Riccardi is the Chair of Ophthalmology at Community General Hospital.

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