Ethan Li

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The Black-and-White Jungle: How Chess Got Me Through My Parents’ Divorce

Editor’s Note: The following piece was chosen as a finalist in NextShark’s personal Essay Contest 2019. The views expressed in story are the writer’s own.

The first time I saw a chess board, I stood — an unsmiling first­ grader — spellbound by the curious horses and castles that the wizened fifth graders shuffled confidently in my school cafeteria. Beneath the ornate wood surface of those pieces, I discovered a uniquely layered beauty.