The Open File
by Life Master Mike Petersen (Zug)
Well, it's turkey time again (at least in the USA), and all of us are going to be sitting down at the dinner table to partake of one stuffed animal in order to stuff another.
If you're like me, then afterwards all you'll be able to do is waddle over to the confines of the sofa to collapse and enjoy the traditional football game and, of course, the usual assortium of Thanksgiving columnists pontificating about what we should be thankful for. Not to be outdone, I offer here my humble attempts at same.
I'm thankful for all the players lower rated than I. Without them, I'd never win a game.
I'm thankful for all the times I got paired up in a tournament...with the White pieces.
I'm thankful for all the times I got to sac my Queen...when it worked.
I'm thankful for the Russians. Without them, it's very possible we would never have had Bobby Fischer emerge, because much of his motivation was derived from despising them.
I'm thankful for Boris Spassky. Without such a class gentleman as he, Bobby Fischer would never have become world champion. Who else would have put up with such a goofball as Fischer in the interest of sportsmanship?
I'm thankful for FIDE. Without it, who would there be to rant and rave about?
I'm thankful for all the opening books and pamphlets that are biased in favor of their own analyses. They really gave me confidence, even though they're worse than useless.
I'm thankful for Fred Reinfeld's books. Without them, someone ELSE would have to be chosen as the worst chess author in the world.
I'm thankful for all the tournament directors, good and bad. Without them, there would be no tournaments at all, 'cause there's no way I would EVER direct one.
I'm thankful for all the players who are just a little bit better than I. Without them, I'd have no reason to improve.
I'm thankful for the myriad of chess professionals who make chess the growing thing it is. Without them, there would be few new opening ideas and chess might stagnate.
I'm thankful for the incredible good fortune I have to be good enough at the game to have earned a Master's rating.
I'm thankful for all the Mothers-in-Law of the world. Why? Well, without them, all of us never would have met our wives. Think about it.
I'm thankful for all the good - and bad - things that have happened to me during my time on this planet. They prove to me that I'm alive and in the hunt. And that's all one can expect from life.
And finally, I'm thankful for all of you who got to the end of this turkey. Enjoy your real one, and Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.
Click here for links to Mike's other work on Chess.com