Chess Player Shares His Life Philosophy With Iowa State Students | News

David Skaar wears his favorite party hat while playing chess at Memorial Union.

Many students have seen David Skaar sitting at a Memorial Union table with his board and boombox, waiting for someone to join him. You may have sat down to play chess with him before.

“Chess is like a game of life,” Skaar said. “Winning, losing or drawing, it has its limits and we can’t dwell on the moves we made or didn’t make.”

Retired at 66, Skaar now devotes his time to showing students various chess strategies. Wearing his favorite party hat and listening to the Beatles on a portable boombox, Skaar regularly studies and teaches chess at Memorial Union, North Grand Mall and Welch Ave.

Born in 1955 in Story City, Iowa, Ames resident David Skaar discovered his passion for the game of chess early on. The youngest of four children and a graduate of Scott Community College, Skaar, at 27, has traveled and competed in various chess tournaments in Los Angeles.

Skaar worked as a motorcycle mechanic for many years until his mother passed away in 2002. Putting his family first, Skaar returned to Iowa in November 2003 to care for his father for the next seven years. of his life.

Referencing books like “My 60 Memorable Games” by Bobby Fischer, Skaar shares valuable chess lessons, including the difference between descriptive and algebraic notation on chess boards and how to get an opponent to “checkmate“. in five strokes.

“I try to be a positive in the lives of these kids while they’re here,” Skaar said. “As a teacher of the game, it’s my job to simplify the rules, so they can understand and no longer doubt their abilities. If I can’t do that, then I’ve failed as a teacher.

Besides being an avid chess player, Skaar shares his philosophy of life and love with the Iowa State community.

“Tell your parents you love them and enjoy your youth,” Skaar said. “Time flies for all of us and it’s fun to learn, grow and experience all of the possibilities available to you with the ones you love.”

Skaar encourages students to take every opportunity that comes their way in the state of Iowa, because life can be full of surprises too.

“Like the knight’s piece in chess, life is most surprising,” Skaar said. “He has the special ability to jump at you from all sorts of directions, and you never see it coming.”

Skaar tells students to become the best version of themselves and find happiness in their work and play far beyond the time they graduate. Skaar himself shows students how he finds joy in the arts, drawing and listening to his favorite rock music.

Skaar not only plays chess with Iowa State students in his spare time, but he also plays poker and Yahtzee with residents of the Mainstream Living Alzheimer’s Unit in Ames. Skaar became a certified caregiver and was a caregiver at Mainstream Living before retiring.

Skaar continues to promote chess by working with the Iowa State Chess Club, playing games with other students, and solving puzzles as a group. Students interested in joining can attend club meetings from 6-8 p.m. Mondays at Carver 204.

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