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There are so many games in this world. I know I played a large portion of them throughout my childhood. There were games like baseball, football, and other active games. Also, there were party games that I did not care for at all.
Finally, there were board games. This was the category with the largest amount of games on it. There was a board game for just about anything you could think of. We had Monopoly, the Game of Life, Parcheesi, but we hardly had time to play them.
I guess my parents wanted us, kids, to stay busy and not bother them as we had a whole closet full of games we could play if it rained outside and we got bored. I guess out of all the games we had chess was my favorite.
It was not like checkers which did not seem like it had any real strategy to it. There was a strategy to play chess properly and that appealed to me. It was also a lot more interesting than checkers was as you already had a king on the board.
It did seem strange to me that the King was above the queen but the queen had all the power. That made the queen my favorite piece though I liked the power of the rook and the bishop as well.
The knight wasn’t far behind because he could do something a queen could not do, change direction mid-move. Although I was able to develop a potent pawn attack, I never really liked pawns.
They could not move very fast and they were the most vulnerable piece on the board. The attribute I liked most in the pawn was that it could protect the rook, the bishop and the knight from the opposing queen and her fellow power pieces.
What also made chess interesting to me is that I could play it by myself when I wanted to practice my strategy. The other games were designed to have at least one more player present for it to be of any good.
Then with chess, I could also play the game through the mail. A friend and I would write letters back and forth sending each other our next move. This was a very slow way to play the game but we got to think about our moves and analyze our opponent’s next moves before we made ours.
The only thing that got to me about chess is that it can be a slow game to play. I am not talking about playing games through the mail. The game itself, with a player right across the board from you sometimes went too slow and took 15 minutes for every move.
That made the game very boring and kept me from playing in tournaments and on different chess teams. I enjoyed the strategy and the combative nature that comes with chess, but the slow moves were killers. I almost went to sleep several times waiting for my opponent to move.
One year I did play in a tournament and that was a mistake.. I did not win enough games to get very high on the board but I was able to get high enough to be a spoiler. A spoiler is someone who is not quite good enough to win it all but just good enough to win a key game that would keep a star player from winning.
This tournament was a friend of mine. He needed just one win to move on up to the next round. I was his next opponent and as friends do we talked. He pointed out the obvious he needed a win and it would be great if I lost the game on purpose since I had no chance of going further in the tournament.
If I did that, he could move up and have a good chance of winning. Well, he was my friend so I did the honorable thing and lost on purpose. It was honorable in our eyes out no one else’s.
I am not sure what happened after that in the tournament but I did not play chess for a long time after that.
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