Learning to play chess is mind-numbingly hard. And I don’t mean that in a facetious way – it literally is incredibly exhausting mentally. I have a hard time keeping track of where all my pieces are and where they have the potential of moving to, let alone anticipating my husband Tavis’ every move and how he is preparing to take out my pieces.
When we sat down to play our second game this past Saturday, I was prepared to just go with the flow and make moves and see what happens. I was still incredibly intimidated by the fact that Tavis is an expert compared to me, but I was slightly bolstered by the terms of our chess-playing arrangement. You may recall the terms that I outlined in the beginning: every time I lose a game of chess, Tavis will remove a piece from his chess set and play the next game “one man down” so to speak. We’ll keep playing this way until I win a game, after which he’ll begin replacing his lost players. Seeing as this was our second game and he said I could choose which piece he’d have to play without, I chose to eject his Queen.
He admitted multiple times throughout the game this was very new territory for him; he’s never played chess without his entire army at his disposal. This made me feel like I had the potential to win, until after the game when he said he thought that this new way of playing may make him into an even better chess player.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Without his Queen to help him out, I must admit that there were a couple of times I deluded myself into thinking I could possibly win. This is ludicrous purely because I just don’t have the capacity to think multiple moves ahead yet, which seems to be exactly how Tavis thinks. If I’m supposed to beat him, then I have to beat him at his own game, no?
Of course I lost, but not nearly as quickly as the first time, and I feel like I’m getting better acquainted with the possibilities of all my pieces on the board. I’m also getting lots of valuable tips about special moves like “castling” and “en passant.” And I was able to get a lot of my pieces in play before the end.
I wasn’t nearly as frustrated this time, that’s for sure. I think I was more mentally prepared for how challenging and intimidating it would be. But I did end up with a massive headache, so perhaps playing in the evening after a long day outside isn’t the best idea!
The biggest change between last game and this one is that I’m actually excited and looking forward to playing again! Go figure!
Have you ever played chess? Did it give you a headache too?