Go To Your Local Chess Club!

| 10 | Chess Players

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My First Time At The Chess Club



A few days ago I made the decision to join the local chess club with a friend of mine. Lucas (the friend) had been before and knew where it was, so finding it was grand. We were the first to arrive to meet Steve the guy that teaches us. He was delighted to see me and welcomed me warmly to the club. 4 other boys came while 2 older players with titles played a game in the background. First we went through a great game of Peter Leko's and then onto the playing.


I will admit I was slightly nervous - after all I had never really played 3D chess! So Steve of course wanting to see my level challenged me to play. I played white. I allowed him to open the Queen file thinking to myself surely he won't trade Queens but wow did I think wrong. So here I was with a King unable to castle and what followed left me with double pawns. "Right" I remember thinking, "Time to cop on and do the best I can with this disgraceful situation".


The game went on as I developed my pieces, I couldn't help noticing how my double pawns hindered his development and I felt a glimmer of hope. A sharp advance of my knight caused more trouble. The game revolved around the centre of the board where my now un-doubled pawns sat blocked by rooks. My King had moved centre and proved crucial. (I felt rather sick moving him forward to defend and attack in one but it all paid off). A bishop held all in place, it hid well defended behind my King - mocking black's rooks as they manoeuvred to attack. I constantly cut off black with my bishop-freed rooks. When black ploughed the rook onto my second rank I paused. I almost missed what would have been a beautiful fork for my opponent but noticing it at the last moment I blocked his efforts once more. These moves repeated and I consented to moving my rook a third and final time in the repeated motion, thus accepting the draw.


I was a pawn up and if you could see the position my un-doubled pawns held at the centre you may have called me mad for drawing. But I accepted my opponent’s skill with rooks and knowing my weakness to be endgames I was happy to accept. We briefly went through the game and Steve seemed happy to say the least. To my disbelief the game had gone on for no less than an hour! Shocked at how absorbed I had been in the game not to notice the time tick by! A wide smile spread across my face.


This was chess like I had never played before - and I was loving it.


I can safely say it would beat this 2D chess any day. Something about being there, touching the pieces as your heart races, watching your opponent as their eyes flicker to and fro across the squares, hearing them praise your move in their own voice - It drove me on and I focused like never before. It brought out the best in my game and I bounced off home that night more than content with seeing and feeling me play my best.


The very next day I got a phone call. Steve and I talked for ages discussing improving my game and upcoming tournaments I should definitely enter. He said he would be delighted to mentor me himself and work on endgames and openings with me. Also offering a chance to go to extra group lessons where the better players play.  He hopes to get 20 rated games in soon so I can have a proper rating and take my place later on the Women's Under 18 Irish Top 10. He talked of how he only wished he had gotten me a year earlier as I turn 17 at the end of this year. Also he mentioned the travelling opportunities I would have and not just in Ireland but all over if I can improve! 


After all that blabbing on - my point!


I recommend anyone whether they are really young really old or balding in the middle! Go to your nearest chess club if you haven't already and take a look! I know it is a friendly and social game in Ireland and I am sure most clubs will be the same! Don't miss out on what I guarantee is an adrenaline rush even while you sit down with your head in your hands! Laughing


Thanks for reading.. now quick run to the club! Tongue out