As I sit here playing many people in great games of chess, my mind wanders to a time when chess was strictly for war. Strategies, forks, ZugZwangs, pins, skewers, all using human pieces, expendable each.
I look know at how chess brings people closer together. Case in point:
My friend and I played chess every Saturday at the local community college lounge area and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We discussed many topics, current and historic, enjoyed coffee and some baked treat, and strategized for hours. It so happened that one of our chess compatriots had severe diabetes and had to have his leg amputated. This gentleman was in his fifties and only had a sister as family and chess as a passion. My friend and I played with this gentleman for months and developed and great relationship with him. After the amputation, this man became the proverbial vegetable, no speech, had to be fed by hand, etc. and all purposefully. He did this himself because he had no one. So after my friend and I visit him daily for about 3 months, he started returning to his previous self and thanked us for being his "family". We played chess with him in the hospital and talked strategies and politics and anything he desired. It was fun.
He died a few years ago and it comes to me that I am so glad the we were able to draw out his inner peace and strengthen our inner peace at the same time. We speak of Bob often and with much joy, because he represents what chess is to me now.