My Greatest Failure

My Greatest Failure

Sep 20, 2014, 9:20 PM |

     Today was the first day of my chess club meet-up.  I live out in southwest Tucson Arizona it’s a rural area where there isn’t a whole lot going on.  The part of Tucson I live in is a great place to be if you like nature, peace and quiet and you don’t mind sunny weather. 

     I play chess.  I love it, I grew up with it.  My parents were really strict about developing me into an intellectual so chess was a game I was allowed to play.  Over the last four years I tried to play at least one game a day.  Almost all of the games I played were against the computer because I haven’t really had anyone to play against.  

     Playing chess with people is much more fun.  So naturally I decided to try and start a chess club.  I have to admit I thought about it for a while but I wasn’t sure if I should go for it; until one day, I found an old issue of Chess Life magazine, the April 2010 issue, it’s the one that has the cover with the big cow on it.  And when I say big cow I don’t mean an overweight opera singer who comes out at the end of the show.  I actually mean it literally has a big cow on the front cover  - go see for yourself if you don’t believe me.   

     Anyway, the magazine issue discusses organizing a successful chess club in a rural area.  I know!  It’s like they were trying to talk directly to me or something.

     The magazine basically had every idea that I had to start the club, which was good, and I thought to myself, “Okay let’s do this I will give it a try.”  

     I put some work into this little event.  I secured the location, I put the webpage up, I listed it on, I put it on other websites and so on.

     Today I sat across from an empty chair at my failed first attempt at starting a chess club.  I tried to remain looking cool at the table while the owner of the restaurant, who is a nice guy, glanced over from time to time to see if anybody showed up.  In my peripherals I would see him just peeking over in curiosity.  I must have looked like the Mars Rover but on the wrong planet at this point.

     So, what does every man in this position do?  All odds are against you, and the walls are closing in.  If you guessed it - that’s right: I got up and ordered the biggest ice cream cone they had.  The cone was so huge I had instantly felt like I made some kind of investment and had to purchase insurance for this thing incase I had accidently dropped it and broke something on the way back to the table.  

     I got back to the table (safely) and whipped out my tablet and put on my favorite analysis program.  With my chessboard already set up in front of me I am now practicing my opening lines…but something unexpected started to happen. 

     Part of the waffle cone is now lodged in my throat and I am choking at this point.  Chess is weird.  Chess is the kind of game that when you are totally focused little stuff like choking to death doesn’t really bother you so much when you are thinking about the game.  I simply couldn’t take my eyes off the analysis board and thought to myself, “I have enough oxygen in my body to survive a few more of these opening variations before I need to make an executive life saving decision on which way I am going to dislodge the waffle cone from my windpipe and still maintain looking cool in the restaurant.

     How did I survive the waffle cone incident?  Actually, when I leaned in on the analysis board I unconsciously turned my neck in a different position and somehow everything subsided on its own and the cone went down to the place where the rest of the forgotten unlucky pieces of food go after they take ride on the wild side to Tummyland.  

     Today was “my greatest failure” and it wasn’t so bad.  I lived a dream I dreamt.  I put myself out there, tried and failed.  But in the end it can be said that there lived a man who fought for his life quietly inside of a near empty restaurant in the middle of nowhere, completely focused on chess, and unafraid for his life.