Monday 7 February 2005

check -- not quite mate

News flash - I just played my very first ever game of chess. Yes, the intellectual, thoughtful game of strategy and logic. Yes, all the way through. And yes, without knocking the game to the floor in a pouty swoop because I was losing.

Mark has long been coveting a chess set and broke down and got a really cool one with hand-made pieces. Since his options of players includes, well, me only, he gave me a shot as student.

We broke free from our part-ay hart-ay tradition (Um, the dance club was, um closed?) and took over the living room, fire lit, on our raging Saturday night to play. I even had a scotch to make me feel more gentile and worldly. And smart. We reviewed all the pieces (I like the knights -- the jumpers) and what they can do/how they function on the board/ how to get the other guy's pieces and eventually, get the king. Every move is either to advance or protect. Makes one think before acting. Not a bad axiom for living... I thought...Cool. I took notes. And (god love Mark) before each move, I got to ask my handicap beginner question, "is this a dumb move?" Low and behold -- it almost never was!

Per Mark, he was "genuinely surprised" at my quick study of the chess concept. I think it has a lot to do with the chess piece personalities. The pawns are abundant and you can lose one without caring too much -- the aforementioned knights are cool and can do some damage, the bishops are only so so and have a small range, the castle is also a little limited, the king is basically the least powerful guy on the board, but everyone protects him -- and last but not least -- the queen is the shit. She can go anywhere, in any direction and as far as she wants. Like in life.

Somehow -- this little storyline in my head made the logic seem more like the A List for a party then a studied and sleepy game. Plus, the scotch really IS the perfect companion. Slow sippers.

The next challenge -- configuring 3-letter words besides C-A-T in a rousing match of spelling and wit in Scrabble.

This, people, is what life coaching can get ya.

No comments: