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?