I first fell for chess because of a guy.

Harry was older than me (I was 10; he was 12). But age didn’t matter back then. I was sure that if I mastered Harry’s favorite game, I would one day win his heart.

I bought books on strategy, and I memorized famous openings and endgames. Alas, my fervor was short-lived: I forgot all about Harry—and chess—after my family left Peru.

I think I’ve played only six games since then (three against my iPhone, two against my husband, and one against my former colleague, Ben). So I couldn’t resist the bait when I saw my friend Norine’s Facebook post about the perils of playing against her computer. “Want to come over for some chess and some wine and some smoked salmon?” I wrote back.

Here’s an extremely abridged play-by-play:

One-eighth of a fish and a bottle of wine later, we’d concluded in a draw.

I joked with Norine at the outset that one shouldn’t play chess with friends. (After all, chess requires scheming and strategy and aggression—not exactly the best building-blocks for friendship.)

In hindsight, though, I think that more friends should play chess: Tonight I gained a whole new respect for Norine’s keen intellect. I discovered new facets of her personality. And I learned to never—ever—fall for her counter-gambit.

So, dear friend … are you up for a rematch next week?


    • Naw, I hadn’t heard about IBM’s upgrade — but that’s good news for me, since I’m always looking for ways to waste even more time playing futile games against my computer.

      BTW, love your blog! You’re hilarious. And I’m now a subscriber. Keep writing!

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