Sep 30, 2009, 5:21 PM |


I go to a local chess club on Tuesday nights, and it's always interesting to see who is there, who is not, and most importantly, WHAT HAPPENS! It's held at a pub and bowling alley which prides itself on its Irish theme. Thus, after feasting on a gigantic Bookmaker sandwich (roast beef, swiss cheese, hoagie roll), I got out my brand-new magnetic chessboard that my sister got me for my 30th birthday and snagged one of the first players that arrived for a game.

NOTE: I know what you're all wondering: Did I win? No. As a matter of fact, have I ever won any games at Chess Club? Yes, two (count 'em: 2) with a lot of help. I only started seriously playing chess in August of THIS YEAR, and it's turning out to be a lot more difficult than I thought. Whereas before I merely dithered around with Josh Waitzkin's confusing Chessmaster tutorials and tried to learn some basic concepts in the midst of phrases like, "Be careful not to get your pawn structure overextended", NOW I'd hit the big time. In my own mind.

Anyway, the highlights of the evening were seeing my chess friends there, learning some new moves, and seeing how a trap called the "Fishing Pole" works. It's one you do as Black, in which you trick White into thinking they're getting a free knight. However, that leaves YOU free to put them into check and then mate with some moves by your queen and...rook? *facepalm*

I can't believe my memory is this shot. "The rooks on the board go up and down, plus they go left and right..." WHEW! At least I haven't lost that part yet...

So, after I played Justin (who's a great sport and a fairly good player) twice, I then taught Melanie, one of the off-duty waitresses, how to play. (NOTE: I didn't get into anything fancy, just how the pieces moved and things like taking control of the center of the board and how bishops can only travel on the squares that are the same color on which they start.) It was so cool--our game was about even, with Melanie making some mean sneak attacks with her bishops! It came down to pawn promotion in the end. Oh, and Melanie was a rook ahead before she maneuvered her last pawn to the end of the board on my side. I know what you're probably thinking: "You patzer. You can't beat HER?!?"

I hoped she'd mate me, in all honesty. I was proud when she promoted her pawn, and I resigned. I had like, all pawns and she had a new queen and a rook.

After that, then I played Filip, whom I call Filip-nomenal beause of how he plays. OMG!!! He says that if I write down my games, I'll learn chess really fast. Namely, I'd be able to pinpoint the exact move(s) at which my game either fell apart or started turning around so I got the advantage. The trouble? This:

"Write down the chess game" is, to me, like saying "write down the basketball game." Here's how I write down basketball game results: TIGERS BEAT LIONS 64-32. My headline has no mention of jump shots, foul-outs, rebounds, field goals or freethrows. Likewise, here's how I'd "write down a chess game": 0-1.

"There's no mention of moves here, d00d." (Yeah, and I'm a d00dette, too.)

"How did you move?"

Uh...I must have done something wrong, because I lost as White...

Hopefully, by the next time I go to Chess Club, I'll know how to write down moves. Any tips? (NOTE: "Quit chess now" is not a tip I'll take anyone up on.)

So that's the first one of my Chess Club blogs. Next one after next Tuesday!