July 12th 2017
Today I was challenged to a game of chess. Or maybe it was me that did the challenging, I’m not quite sure. On Friday night I played (and lost) a load of drunken Connect Four at my work summer party, and it was somehow agreed – through inebriated throwing down of a gauntlet – that we would play chess as well.
So we played chess.
I don’t think I’ve played chess against a human in 10 years. Me and my Dad used to play a lot, but we stopped for some reason. Probably because I started to beat him too consistently (that’s definitely untrue). I remember really enjoying it though. Since then I’ve not played against a human, only machines.
There was a time when the only two games I had on my phone were Scrabble and Chess. I feel like that probably says a lot about me.
Anyway, long story short, I lost. But I didn’t lose disgracefully, and that was just about all I could’ve hoped for.
It was a tactical game. I don’t have a holistic strategy but I have a pretty good understanding of what’s required at the opening. As far as I’m aware, you want to get your knights and bishops close to the middle four squares, castle on the king side as soon as possible, and don’t let your queen out until you really have to.
That’s about where my knowledge ends, and thus was where my plan started to unravel. I sacrificed my queen to take his, because that’s the sort of guy I am apparently. My pawn structure was underdeveloped and I ended up with one fewer rook.
I’m aware that nothing I’m saying means anything to anyone, but I’m just going with it.
So yeah, I lost.
But we were down to like the final 5 pieces when I lost. So I managed to play it out until the very end. And I was happy enough with that.
Chess is a very cerebral game. It took us 56 minutes to play one game. It’s the kind of weird, niche thing that I’d want to be good at. Like for example, I can solve a Rubik’s cube in 90 seconds because I just decided to sit down and teach myself how to do it one day.
Really, it’s a surprise that I don’t have more friends because I’m a super fun guy.
Until tomorrow, check mate.