Left Brain, Right Brain

This is the real secret of life – to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play. – Alan Watts

Everyone is aware of the dichotomy of function in the human mind between the left brain and the right brain. Chessplayers muse on the signficance of this division of consciousness to chessplay. But what about chessplayers who are missing part of their brain?

Young Colorado chessplayer Griffin McConnell, once the academic and chess star of his school, returned to chessplay after undergoing a partial hemispherectomy to alleviate nonstop seizures.

I met Griffin and his younger chessplaying brother Sullivan a year ago at a tournament in Manitou Springs. Both lads are bright, polite, and demons of chess. My score against both is positive, but both have caused me anxious moments and both have notched up their share of higher-rated scalps.

Here is my game against Griffin from the Denver Open. Griffin misses a tactical point, leading to the loss of a piece, followed by a cute checkmate.

Jacques Delaguerre