This past week, the country of Israel nearly became home to the Chess World Champion. Israeli Boris Abramovich Gelfand fought for the right to become the King of Chess and tied Indian Challenger Viswanathan Anand 6-6 during the regular 12 game chess match.
It was only in the sudden-death tie, where Boris lost in the rapid paced speed games; and with it his hopes of becoming the Chief Chess-master.
There have been many Jewish World Chess Champions, but never did one play for the Israeli flag.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is an avid Chess player, as is MK Natan Scharansky.
I am sure that this will boost the popularity of the game of Chess in Israel, somewhat akin to what Bobby Fischer's win did for the USA in 1972.
Chess, like Talmud, sharpens the brain. Many American schools have a "Chess in the Schools" program, whereby they recognize that logical thinking is a trait that can be taught.
Budding Talmudists, who already are sharpening their thinking skills, can no doubt increase their cognitive reasoning by engaging in this noble endeavor in their spare time.