Mention was made a few weeks ago of precocious chess players (SCORECARD, Feb. 12). Last Sunday one of those mentioned, 5-year-old Robert LeDonne, appeared on a kids' show called Wonderama. On Wonderama, host Robert McAllister often meets prominent people in various fields of endeavor. In his time McAllister has caught passes thrown by Norm Snead, shot baskets with Bill Bradley, played hockey with Brad Park. Shelby Lyman, who achieved fame as a TV chess commentator during the Fischer-Spassky matches, suggested to Producer Dennis Marks that McAllister meet young LeDonne in chess.
The match was arranged, and it turned out to be rather impressive. The two played a super-lightning game with a five-minute time limit, which means they had 2� minutes each to make a maximum of 40 moves. The pieces flew back and forth, with the chess brilliance of the 5-year-old becoming quickly apparent as he forced his older rival into defeat. We keep telling you, Fischer. Look behind you.
Have you ever had profundus digitorum tendon avulsion? If you played defense in football, you may have had it without knowing it. Profundus etc. is a fairly common injury that happens to the ring finger, although it is often unrecognized and therefore improperly treated, according to Dr. Dennis R. Wenger in Archives of Surgery, an American Medical Association publication.
The trouble is caused by the fact that the ring finger is the stepchild of the hand, as you can quickly discover for yourself. Make a fist. Now extend each finger separately and curl it back again. Notice what happens when you send the ring finger out on its own. When, for example, a defensive player grabs a ballcarrier, only to have him twist and break away again, the ring finger finds itself out there alone where it never expected to be. A tendon tears. There is acute pain and the finger swells and stiffens. Too often a player endures the pain and the finger goes untreated. But if the condition is not corrected by surgery, a permanently damaged finger can result.
Injuries like this, that are peculiar to or concentrated in sport, are the declared target of the newly organized Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. Founded by Dr. James A. Nicholas, team physician of the New York Jets and a very good friend of Joe Namath's knees, the institute expects to do research in and provide data on all areas of sports medicine. Sports injuries often have jocular names like tennis elbow or charley horse, but they are of serious concern to those who suffer them. That such injuries are distressingly common is indicated by the institute's publication of a long list of them, including such things as yoga-foot drop, glass arm, bowler's thumb, jogger's heel, golfer's hand, football knee, baseball finger, cauliflower ear, pulled hamstring, fatigue fracture and stitch.
Hang on, sufferers. Help is on its way.
The Buffalo Braves of the NBA have been running a halftime contest in which a fan selected from the audience by lot has one chance to sink a shot from mid-court. A local Dodge dealer put up a new car as a prize for anyone who made it. Seventy-nine times over the past two seasons hopefuls came down from the stands to try, and 79 times they returned to their seats Dodgeless. Then Clay Schroeder, a 14-year-old freshman at Starpoint Central School in suburban Lockport, got the chance at halftime of a game between the Braves and the Los Angeles Lakers. Schroeder, who plays only intramural basketball, lofted a left-handed push shot through the basket, and the crowd, third largest of the season, went bonkers, shouting and cheering for more than a minute as their sudden hero wandered around the court in a cheerful daze. He wound up near the Lakers' bench, accepting congratulations from Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain and other admirers. Of the car, young Schroeder said, "This will be a switch. I'll be the only teen-ager whose father has to ask him for the car."