Chess can help with analytic, strategic thinking


Chess has become a very popular pastime during the pandemic and interest has exploded with the debut of “The Queen’s Gambit” – a popular Netflix mini-series adaptation of Walter Tevis’ novel. The show tells the story of an orphan girl in Kentucky in the 1950s who discovers the game of chess and becomes a prodigy at a very young age in a game dominated by men. The coming of age story features romance, intrigue, psychological trauma, gorgeous costumes, hair and makeup, all against the backdrop of chess.

Last fall, the Delaware County District Library introduced a new Student Resources page for school-age learners in Delaware County. The page, found at, includes links to check out flashcards and workbooks, a list of librarians’ favorite websites for at-home learning, and the one-on-one tutoring website Brainfuse HelpNow.

Brainfuse HelpNow provides live assistance to school-age students in a variety of common subject areas, and now they’ve added one more subject to their growing list – live chess tutoring.

Live chess tutoring will surely help students improve their analytic and strategic thinking. Brainfuse’s chess tutors have certifiable qualifications, such as high Elo ratings (2000+), chess coaching experience, and current or previous titles (e.g. expert/candidate master).

To access live chess tutoring, visit and click on Brainfuse HelpNow. Then look under the Expert Help column, and you’ll see it as the last item as a “Featured Service.” Coaches will provide live help or users can click “Online Resources” to access information on the basics of chess, tactics and maneuvers. Live help is available Monday through Thursday evenings from 3 to 9 p.m.

Whether you want to improve your cognitive skills or are seeking a new pastime, we hope you’ll take advantage of this featured service from our partners at Brainfuse HelpNow – it’s free with your library card and a Brainfuse HelpNow account. If you’ve already binge-watched all of “The Queen’s Gambit,” you may enjoy one of these titles below, which feature gifted young protégés and individuals overcoming obstacles.

• “The Hustler” by Walter Tevis. Meet “Fast” Eddie Felson, a poolroom hustler who travels from town to town conning strangers into thinking they could beat him at the game when in fact, he is a skillful player who has never lost a game. Felson meets his match in Minnesota Fats, the true king of the poolroom, causing his life to change drastically.

• “The Big Green Tent” by Liudmila Ulitskaia. An orphaned poet, a gifted pianist, and a budding photographer meet in a mid-twentieth-century Moscow school and eventually embody the heroism, folly, compromise, and hope of the Soviet dissident experience.

• “The Queen of Katwe” by Tim Crothers. Traces the story of a Ugandan teen who was introduced to chess by a missionary mentor and struggled to overcome formidable levels of poverty to become her country’s national champion.

• “Lea” by Pascal Mercier. A father’s love for his daughter knows no bounds as her obsessive desire to become a concert violinist drives them both to the brink of destruction.

• “The Mathematician’s Shiva” by Stuart Rojstaczer. Following the death of Rachela, a famous female math professor, mathematicians crash the shiva in order to discover the solution to the million-dollar Navier-Stokes Millennium Prize Problem, which she was rumored to have solved.

By Nicole Fowles

Glad You Asked

If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s web site at or directly to Nicole at [email protected]. No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!

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