While strolling around the Irish Fest this past October, I stumbled upon a giant chess set. It was sitting in a little clearing, shaded by trees, put out by people that were selling mats for chess. I didn’t know people needed special mats for chess, but I didn’t know much about the game. I’d never liked playing chess. I called the knights horseys, and I always got bored and made my own system of rules which consisted of me being able to move wherever I wanted. But I wanted to play with the giant pieces because they looked fun and I am a five year old. I challenged my father and got slaughtered, even though I had three people helping me. These three people were middle school girls that wandered over and by the end of the match I doubted they actually knew anything about chess, but still.
After playing this time, I found it fascinating. My father and I kept playing every night for a while after that. We even bought one of the mats that has a picture of the Irish countryside on it. We never use it. I suck at chess. I have no offensive strategy, I play the computer and loose sometimes even though its set on a really easy level. I call the whole game ‘chest’ now which could be vaguely dirty, but it’s only because my mom can’t pronounce it. She’d ask “who won chest?” in the same way she says “I’m going to the lieberry” and the name just stuck. I still call the knight a horsey and now I call the rook a dalek. The way my piece looks just fits it, especially when it slides across the board while I do my best robotic “Exterminate! Exterminate!” The only thing nerdier than loving chess and loving Doctor Who would be getting the Doctor Who chess set. Which I want badly.
I love chess now. Even without the mind for strategy, there’s something so interesting about it. It seems like it should be simple to move pieces and capture others, but it takes thought. I love the feeling I get when I capture the queen, or am one step ahead of an opponent. I jump and scream and run around like a loon the few times I’m able to beat my father.
I saw a large queen keychain a fellow volunteer had at the thrift shop I volunteer at and asked her if she played. Her face lit up and she talked about how she just beat a group of old men at the park earlier in the week. So I’m guessing she’s better than me but we’re playing this week when we volunteer. I’ve been trying to practice, but I’m probably going to get killed. I’m excited about it anyway and if I don’t improve soon I’ve been thinking about getting some books from the lieberry to learn about strategies.
Asipration for today: Try a harder level of chest.
Does anyone else play chess or other games of strategy?