Chess Club And Mother's Day

May 11, 2009, 8:17 PM |

Yesterday was Mother's Day so between juggling things to do for my Mom and my wife it was quite busy.  I was lucky enough to work a few games of chess in online and I knew that making my chess club today probably wasn't going to happen.  After hitting Logan's for a nice steak dinner I decided to swing by Round Table just to see if anyone from my chess club was still there (no, I wasn't still hungry). We just had the State Championships and I wanted to see if anyone had won, offer some congrats and be on my way.  Just a quick hello.  Sure enough there were some still there.  Great!


"YOU'RE LATE!"  shouts the head of the club.

"No?!"  I say sarcatically.  I was expecting a hello, what happened?  Or, how come you couldn't make it?  But this?  I know I was late, could there be another purpose for me showing up?  This is a chess club and I'm being treated like I'm late for work.  He shrugs me off and goes back to yelling at the kid sitting across from him.

I'm really reminded of a scene from Searching for Bobby Fisher.

"Why move there?!  Where's your knight?!  If you do that, then I do this and this and it's over for black!"  All while slamming pieces on the board.  I bet they end up with bruises.

What is this guy so angry about?  Way to instill the love of the game.

The kid is barely 10 but it's not bothering who I think is the Dad any and it's his call on how his son is treated.  I guess as long as his son is winning it doesn't matter.

I knudge who I think is the father, "So, did anyone win?"

"Yeah, he did.  State Champion."

"Whoa!"  With the verbal lashing done by the teacher, I say, "Congrats!  Nice job."  I then turn to the guy I'm talking to, "Is he your son?"

"No.  He's his son," pointing at the man leaning on the doorframe arms folded.  From his body language I wonder if he is bothered with how his son is being treated.

I walk up.  "State Champion!!  That's awesome.  Congrats."

"Oh, thanks," and he extends his hand to shake, so we do.  Friendly enough guy but he was clearly bothered by something.  Either he's irritated at the teacher or he's irritated that the club went later than usual and he's pissed at missing the Cavs Lakers game.  God, was that awesome.  I'm so lucky my wife likes sports.  Whatever he was mad at, my congratulations really melted the ice and he smiles.

"What opening did he use?" I ask.

He asks his son.  "Slav," says the son.

"Hey congrats man.  I just wanted to pop in and see who won, give them some pats on the back and be on my way."

The teacher thinks that's his que, so he blurts out, "Yes, State Champion and three other winners.  That's what I do."

"Well, good for you."  I say back.

Is it impressive to train champions?  Yes. Absolutely.  But perhaps it's more impressive that after all the s*** life dumps on you, you don't end up a total prick.  You pick up some skills on interaction.  You end up a well rounded person with friends and family that love you.  I doubt those chess pieces will say anything at your funeral, buddy.

My wife has a theory on chess; it's the game played by know-it-all-a**holes.  And yes, when she said that she was referring to me but hey, we were having an argument so there you go.  What is it about chess that attracts such arrogant individuals?  Is it that chess is a game that requires use of ones intellect and usually smart people are arrogant?  I don't know.  That teacher may hold the keys to becoming a chess god but f*** if I'll be treated like that.  There are other teacher's, GMs, out there that have not only developed their skills on the chess board but also their social skills as well.

Maybe he was ticked off that I didn't show up on time.  Well, newsflash I may love the game of chess but my wife ranks well above it.  Also, this is a club and I have no obligation to show up.  If that is the problem.  Approach me like the adult you're supposed to be and tell me.  Don't turn ice on me for being late when I came to offer congrats.

I'm still glad I came to wish the winner congratulations.

It's no surprise that club is so small.