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Checkmate: Learn the Ancient Game From a Master

Brain Health

The popularity of chess has soared in recent years, due to the isolation of the pandemic, the popularity of the TV series The Queen’s Gambit and a spate of media stories about the ancient game. It’s also readily available online.


If you haven’t learned how to play, AARP New York is offering a four-part virtual series to teach you.

“Mental Exercise Through Chess” will be taught by John Michael Silvederio, a national master. He’ll guide attendees through chess rules and basic game progression. He’ll also review opening strategies and teach ways to go on the attack as a game proceeds.

“We’re excited to deliver educational sessions on a game enjoyed by older adults across the country,” says Robyn Haberman, AARP New York associate state director. “By developing beginner and intermediate chess skills, the program touches on two of the six pillars of brain health: being social, and engaging the brain by learning new things and playing challenging games.”

The 60-minute sessions are at 6 p.m. on Mondays Aug. 1, 8, 15 and 22. You can find information, and links to registration, at, which also lists other events that are part of AARP in New York City’s summer fun series.

—Donna Liquori

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