Chess - Play & Learn


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May 27, 2009, 2:02 PM 12

Way back in 2003 I had asked, in different places, for people to share thier experiences with chess, playing or learning.  I had a germ of an idea for them that never grew to fruition. These replies came from folks at About.com.


     The first game I ever played was during the class Christmas party in 6th grade. A neighbor had taught me the rules a few years earlier, but I had never played an entire game.
     During that first game I noticed at one point that my Bishops were both on Black squares. Later they were both on White squares. I don't remember the result of the game, but I remember those Bishops.  P.S. It's not funny or poignant, but you said mundane was OK...
-Mark Weeks


      At age 6 my father and I sat down with the instructions and learned to play together. The rule for Knights was that it moved in an "L". We thought this meant 1 up and 1 over (and likewise for all directions).
     We played that way for several months. Then a friend of my father's told us it was wrong and said he'd beat us if we used those rules in 9 moves. It took him exactly 9.
     I have since succeeded my father's chess playing ability by learning en passant.


This is from one of my best friends -

     I don't know if this is something you could use or not but here
is my contribution to the chess chronicles.
     I have a book on chess puzzles by L. Polgar. It is very thick. I often take this book with me when I anticipate a long wait somewhere.
     Several times, I have had people talk to me about chess when they see me reading it. A couple of times, while at my daughter's basketball practice, I have had parent's talk to me about chess. Once a mother saw me reading it and began telling me how she is addicted to internet chess (how odd!). 
      Another time, at practice, a father asked me about the book and then began telling me how he used to play chess. I showed him some puzzles and during the next practice, I let him look at the book and try to solve some.
     When I take my car for service, I normally take the puzzle book. When the manager of the shop saw it, he began to tell me about his experiences in the high school chess club.
     Another time I had the book was at the dentist's office. I was waiting for my son and the dentist saw the chess book. He then began telling my how his young daughter has just learned how to play and was trying to get him to play with her.
     Well.. it just goes to show you that there are more chessplayers out there then you might think.


Here is my story:
     I played this 2050 something FICS rated guy, he was about 250 points higher than me,in a 90 30 game. I played him to a draw but he wouldn't accept it. It was below his dignity or something to accept a draw with me.
     The position was a dead draw with the pawns stopping the kings from advancing and no other pieces left. I was immature, according to him, for not accepting to abort the game. Maturity seemed to be defined as doing as he wants...
     He moved around his king on his side of the board obviously having two goals, not repeating the position and trying to get me to abort due to boredom. When we closed in to the 50 move rule he just logged off.
     I immediately sent the game to adjudicate with a draw request despite them requiring a one week wait for resuming as there wasn't any way for anyone to win this game. I was to gain 18 rating points I thought. Nothing happened so after some weeks I checked with adjudicate to see the status of my request. They had deleted it. So I sent in a new one. I almost immediately got the game adjudicated as a draw but I lost one rating point!
     Uh, what for? My opponent had for some reason got all his standard games and rating deleted. I don't know why and I really don't care.  If I had to guess he applied some anti computer chess playing to boost his rating as I had noticed he played with success against them. I tried to get adjudicate to adjust my rating gain but didn't succeed.
     Odd things like that happens to me all the time, I could as well live in South Park...




     I was playing a 1900 player a while back (I'm unrated and guess I'm between 1200-1400).  He'd beaten me easily every other time we played.  Since he always liked to play the same opening I did a little home prep.  I played out my home prep and wound up down a whole rook and in an inferior position.  AAAAGGG!  Even though I had his king pinned in the corner and a battery of queen and rook ready to attack I had no tempi to activate the attack because he had a nasty battery already attacking my king.  Then for some reason he took the time to attack my bishop that was pinning his king.  It was all I needed to set up a mate in two.  He saw the blunder as soon as I reached for my queen but then it was too late. 


     I think my grandfather taught me chess when I was five or so, up in his big farm house when we would visit in the summer.  He was very kind, and he would let me win every game.  He passed on just a few years later, but it is still one of the happiest memories I have of him.
     My father is a kind man as well, but he takes winning much more seriously.  We played some in my childhood, but as I got better at chess, he decided to switch to Go and Bridge to avoid having to lose.  He went on to become a Life Master at Bridge, and still refuses to play me at chess.
     In my last year of high school, I organized a ten-player round robin tournament in our school games club.  A younger boy, a recent immigrant from Yugoslavia named Dusan Radulovic, and I were tied at nine wins a piece and had to meet in the last round.  We all had this image of Yugoslavia as this magical country where everyone was good at chess.  All the other boys stopped their games and gathered around to watch our game.  I was so nervous, but somehow I managed to win a very sharp double-edged game.  Dusan was a very gracious loser, shaking my hand, and we even did a short post mortem.  I sometimes wonder whatever became of him.

-Glenn Giffen 


     I remember vividly when I first discovered this game called, "chess."  My step-father was a heavy drinker, o.k., he was a drunk.  He always got violent when he drank and sometimes my younger brother and I would inadvertently get in his way and he would plummet us.  One day over dinner he told us he once was a very strong chessplayer and won many chess tournaments for his university.  I remember thinking, I can't beat him physically, but I have a chance with chess!  I taught myself the game from an old encyclopedia and learned of a club at the local YMCA in Lansing, Michigan.  Visited the club for several weeks before I decided to challenge my step-father.  I asked him if he wanted to play a game of chess, and he gave me this blank expression, where he stated he didn't know how to play, he didn't even remember his bragging at the dinner table!  Later I discovered from my mother that he never went to a university!!  Nevertheless, I continued to play chess throughout my life.  I also received a B.A. in Psychology at Michigan State University.


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