Friday, November 6, 2015

Any Chess Game is an Event to Cherish

As you sit to play a chess game, you extend your hand to your opponent. But this handshake is more than a greeting. It is an acknowledgement from both of you - of a thank you to the chess gods - for this opportunity to create something artistic - from these figures of wood or plastic - on sixty-four squares of canvas.

The clock is started. It is a subtle reminder to all of us that we have only so much time, and we must use it wisely.

The game begins when the Leader of the White army’s hand reaches forward and unites a single member under his command and advances him towards the enemy.

This soldier is placed into position - really not by the hands of the player - but by his mind.  The mind which must stay focused on the target of the opposing King, but must weigh the risk to his own safety at the same time.

Tempo is everything; perfection unobtainable. There is always a slight nod, a tiny shake of the head, or a rubbing of the forehead by all players. This is an acknowledgement to the chess gods is we - as mere players of this game - are fallible.

And now the battle is on with advantage usually shifting back and forth, pulled by the powers in heaven and even the powers from inside the earth

The chessmen are alive. This chess game is a living sculpture with a unique characteristic – all its own.

A tuning fork goes off in your heart and your mind. It is such a pure feeling when that well-conceived strategy we developed all alone is somehow going undetected by our always worthy and noble adversary. That feeling is the reason the game keeps us in it's grasp.

Now to the conclusion of the game. It is usually sudden, and is always emotional at some level.  The finish is sometimes due to a player temporarily granted a tiny bit of the the creativeness of Morphy, the positional strength of Browne, the tactics of Tal, the mental brawn of Petrosian, or the pure genius of Fischer.

But usually it is due to the fact that someone has strayed a little too far away from the unattainable….and can no longer achieve the ultimate goal of victory.

Win, lose or draw, we once again extend our hand. This time it is a warm thank you to the person who granted you the honor of the opportunity to create a unique work of art.  And one that will never -  ever - be re-created exactly the same way again.

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