Or in this case – teach me, mate.
That’s exactly what Ben Munson of Urbandale does. The officially rated chess expert travels to each of the West Des Moines elementary schools to teach the game he has mastered.
“It’s fun,” Munson said. “I can’t imagine myself not doing it.”
He’s been coaching since 1966 and playing since 1956. Now, he’s passing his decades worth of knowledge on to young kids.
Munson spends his mornings visiting the schools, watching students play against each other. He offers instruction after games and sometimes slips in some advice during them. Mostly, he tries to let the kids play.
“I don’t want to interrupt what they’re doing but I want them to be aware,” he said.
And they seem to be doing it.
Crestview Elementary School student Tyler Crawford, 11, of West Des Moines learned how to play chess from his dad, Doug. Tyler said he’s now learning a lot, honing those skills with Munson, who visits Crestview each Tuesday morning from 7:30 to 8:05 a.m.
“What’s fun about chess is the tension when you play,” Tyler said. “You don’t know what they’re going to do and you don’t know what you’re going to do. It’s exciting.”