Check the Season
In the last 5 days here (in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada) it's snowed about 25 cm. For those of you still on a system derived from the approximate length of a man's foot that's about 10 inches. Looking out at all this festive cheer (and losing game after game after game of bullet chess) reminds me of a long-ago trip to Cuba and a man-sized game of chess. I blame the contrast.
The year was 2002? ish? I can't say for sure and there's no way to find out short of building a time machine or even worse, asking my parents. It was April (maybe?) and my folks had decided to take my brother and I to an all-inclusive resort in Cuba. Fun fact about resorts like that: 16 year olds that look like they're adults have no problem getting piña colatas at the pool bar - which as it turns out I love to this very day. The other thing I discovered was a chess set with pieces from above the knee for the lowly pawns to about chest-high for that glorious king. And so, half-drunk on sun and rum, my brother and I played 4 days worth of chess between swimming in the Atlantic and stuffing ourselves with buffet food.
To this day, it remains one of my favourite memories of time spent with my brother. Whether that's because of the sun, the rum, or Yuriy's stupid victory dance the one time he managed to checkmate me I'll never say. But on snowy days like today, looking out at this -15 degree (that's Celsius if you were wondering) snow-covered landscape and losing a 1-minute game of chess because I can't be bothered to notice that my queen is currently under attack I always think of those games. So this merry season, no matter your climate, go find someone you love in person or online (preferably on the iOS app, he said, shamelessly promoting his own work) and challenge them to a game. Don't take no for an answer!
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a Merry Festivus for the rest of us