While growing up, the closest I ever came to playing chess was in playing checkers---chess's distant, less-sophisticated cousin. All I knew of the game were the names of the pieces. I'd been curious about it, but not having had anyone around who played, there was never an opportunity for it to work its way into my life; it was rarely a thought. To the best of my knowledge, we didn't even have a chess game in the house.
Back in the '90s, when the movie Searching for Bobby Fischer came onto HBO, I fell in love with the movie itself, and I became more fascinated by chess---at least for the duration of the movie.
Then several years ago, when I became a regular at my local Barnes & Noble Cafe, two men I befriended were avid chess players. I would occasionally stop by their table to hover a few minutes, watching them pushing the pieces around the squares which made me more intrigued, yet not enough to put my own work aside to learn the game.
It wasn't until Summer 2008 when I met my boyfriend Mark (ChessMarkstheSpot), and gifted him with a handheld, electronic chess game, that I finally learned the basic object of the game and the way the pieces moved. Then, back in Spring of 2010, I introduced him to my beloved Searching for Bobby Fischer which, in turn, became a favorite of his and re-sparked even more of his interest in the game. That led to an online search which then led him to a link to watch the World Championship LIVE online. From that moment chess not only became a central focus and renewed passion for him---it sparked a genuine interest and passion on my part.
I quickly became smitten with the game. I am fascinated by the complexity of its strategies and have fallen in love with the boards and pieces themselves: their look, their feel and even the sound they make when placed on the board, including the simulated looks and sounds on Chessmaster and here on Chess.com
...then, several months down the "Chess.com" road...
Unexpectedly, as time went by and Mark and I became loyal members of Chess.com, Mark was asked to become the Super Administrator of the Chess.com/TV Group. In turn, I also became a Super Administrator, and together we worked hard to make the group the best it could be--the hosts and members deserve no less. It was a lot of work, but for me it was also very gratifying having designed the original logos for Chess TV (now only used in the Group), set up the theme and worked hand-in-hand with Mark, William_Smitham and of course, IM Danny Rensch and IM David Pruess, on the content. When the Group was in its infancy, there was much more activity in the forums. It's nostalgic to look back on recaps and discussion on the shows from that time. I even created puzzles that, if you're a Group member, you might want to try your hand at:
I continue to be very proud to be a part of it, and lucky for the friendships I've developed through the years.
Though I rarely have the time, I am eager to learn as much as I can about the game. I know I'll never truly master the game; my faulty memory makes it impossible to retain the various moves as I work them through, or to keep an eye on ALL the pieces rather than a few. Regardless---that won't keep me from having a blast trying! And I LOVE this incredible site of Chess.com!