Thursday, August 04, 2005
I’ve been really into chess lately. A few months ago I taught Natalie the basics and we started playing games again. That was the beginning of my returning interest in the game.
When I was younger I used to play chess on monday nights with a group of guys at a chinese restuarant in Lewisburg. Like most of my hobbies I got to a certain level of skill and never really could excell at it past that. I just never could get to the next level, I was definetly the bottom rung player. After a year I stopped going.
I played chess casually throughout the years if there was a board around, but it wasn’t until recently that I started fending for games.
Playing Natalie was fun, so I started playing other folks at Philz Coffee Shop. I was doing pretty well, matter of fact I don’t think I lost a game there yet (but I probably will soon).
Last week Nat and I went downtown and played some of the cats on Market St. You know, the guys that hang out all day and play. It was pretty intimidating, but I won my match.
Then while in Florida I played John Narum’s dad a long game. He studies chess moves, and considers himself an avid chess book collector. It was a great game, very intense. I have always been a defensive player, and could see that he was too. While playing Natalie I was trying to get into the habbit of playing more aggresively, this made the game more interesting and sort of evened out the game since playing defensively is considered easier. I could tell Mr. Narum was a very defensive player so I stepped up and played agressor. It was crazy fun, I made some bold moves and ended winning the game. It was sort of an eye opener, I could be aggressive when I needed to, but I wasn’t crazy and didn’t make any mistakes. Sort of a perfect game.
Today I went back to market and played Ky. As I stepped up to the table he explained he played for money. He suggested $2. I only had one dollar, he accepted. He was a fast and agro player, I had a strong center (I rock the Karo Kahn strategy). The game was about 20 minutes long, and in the end to both of our surprise I won. I actually expected to los a dollar, and for a good game I considered it worth it. He asked for another game, I accepted and told him I had two dollars now, but he jus wanted to stick to a dollar again. We both played an out there game, I had previously explained my style to him and he started early preventing me from being able to do it. Lots of twists and turns ensued, and again I won. We both were pretty surprised. I don’t know what’s clicked, but I’m playing far more consistent games now. Less stupid errors, and some signs of strategy. It’s very exciting I hope to keep playing often. The guy today treated me like I was a hussler, it was great. I hope everyone gets a chance to learn the game, it’s just one of those skills I’ve always been glad to have. Nothing beats a good game of chess, no matter if you win or lose and no matter the two players skill.
I should mention the rest of my day was spent taking my buddy Jun shopping. Jun is a very well known Japanese yo-yoer (3A) and he came to SF just to shop. So I took him to Niketown, and Levistown, and whatever other brand name stores I could. Meanwhile I’m rocking my new Blackspot Sneakers (anti corporate/anti logo) while using a seam ripper to remove the Addidas logo from my sports jacket. It was sort of hell for me, but awesome to hang out with my friend Jun. He gave me some very nice compliments, and mentioned that I might be his most influential player. His single a stuff rocks, I hope we get breakfas in the morn. I wonder if he plays chess.