LeRoy Wiley Gresham: Chess Prodigy

LeRoy Wiley Gresham: Chess Prodigy

The news just keeps hitting . . .The editor of a major international chess magazine wants to run an article on LeRoy and his fascination for, and love of chess!

LeRoy's diary included pages of complete chess games, moves, and miuch more. We necessarily had to leave most of that out of "The War Outside My Window." Here are some of his chess "highlights":

-- LeRoy was consumed with chess, and especially specific opening strategies. He often played several games a day with his brother, fath

  • er, or other adults;

-- He was enthralled by Paul Charles Morphy, a renowned 21-year-old American chess player who beat the leading European chess players of his time. Morphy, the unofficial world chess champion from 1858-1862, served on Gen. P. G. T Beauregard's staff for a short time!

-- LeRoy divides pages into two columns, one for the black moves and another for the white moves. One game he entitled “The Muzio Gambit,” a very aggressive chess strategy that involves the white player sacrificing a knight for a heavy attack with his bishop, queen, and castled king. [Yeah, this kid was wicked smart.]

-- He meticulously fills the equivalent of two pages with each specific move, followed by a short commentary.

-- He and his father spent an entire night solving "The Knight’s Tour," a famous (and exceedingly complex) mathematical problem, a sequence of moves so that the knight lands on every square only once. [Try it and you will find yourself pulling your hair out.]

-- LeRoy quotes a poem from the Scientific American in the 19th century consisting of eight lines of eight syllables each, forming a metaphoric chessboard. [See? Wicked smart.]

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