Kindred’s Special: Getting an ear full from a chess nut

The last tournament I attended in hopes of meeting with some friends for lunch led to the topic heading of this piece. I suppose it is not all that unusual for readers who may well have experienced similar episodes and certainly through the years even while active as a player I had to undergo the ear bending of the “chess nut”. I do not say that in a negative manner only that those who so engage never seem to understand that I am not a prodigious person capable of seeing the strategies and tactics in bombardment to my psychic without visual demonstration of the verbal barriage that the absence of a board and pieces flail upon this unwary human spirit. For in the course of time of 62 years of chess play, I have experienced enormous demonstrations of having to witness the bravado of a success or a lament of disbelief of how stupid a move was made. In either case, the chaps who cornered me always start out with a full description of the brilliance or blunder followed by a mental zap of a few moves. Here are some injections to describe what occurs. Am I crazy to not understand or see the points? Anyway, here are some samples: “I got this guy crushed and can you believe he is rated nearly a hundred points over me. My rating will go up from this tournament! If you have time, come look at the position.” Another scenario: “I had my opponent and I let my advantage slip. I blundered a pawn and then overlooked a Bishop and lost it for nothing! But I should have won.” Another picture: “Look, he had a Queen on d5 and I was threatening it with my Knight. He moved it to h5 and I put my own Queen in the diagonal ahead of my Bishop of b7. Well, he blocked the mate with f3 and I took it with my pawn that was on g4 and he played his Knight from e6 to g5 and I stupidly played my pawn to f2 attacking a Rook. His King was on h2 but it really looked like it was on h1 and then I realized I goofed and he proceeded to checkmate my King with Qxh7.” A third goes: oh well, forget it. You get the idea. The point is I really feel the joy of victory and the bitters of defeat with the encroachment upon my person by such zealots. Can anything be worse than having eyesight problems or where a piece is not squarely on a square but sort of half and half on and off? He looks for sympathy who comes my way for consoling or jubilant high fives. I see my role as a tournament visitor in such cases as a release of sorts of the torment experienced at such times and the kudos for a sparkling good show. Some just need a shoulder to cry on. Some need praise and adoration. Maybe that comes hand-in-hand with experiencing the ups and downs of the human spirit as it wages war on the 64 squares.

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5 Responses to “Kindred’s Special: Getting an ear full from a chess nut”

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