A First

My friend, A., started a writing class. Her first assignment was to make a list 10 things of her “firsts”, and then write about them.

 

Intrigued by this idea, I decided to write about one of my “firsts”.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

MY FIRST TIME I WON A GAME AT CHESS.

 

 

I was in grade school in the early 1970’s and in the fourth grade.

 

I played a simple Scholar’s Mate [For those who don’t know the moves, they are 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nc6 3.Qf3 Nd4? (played to attack White’ queen and threaten …Nxc2+, but actually loses) 4.Qxf7mate].

scholars_mate

I was joyful. Happy. My dad played it against me and I thought it was the best way to win and why did people need chess books?

 

Then doubt.

 

Was this it? Was this the best one could achieve in chess? To win a game in four moves? Was this the only, or at least the best, way to win? Why did Grandmasters Fischer and Spassky take so long to move in their match?

 

Spassky Fischer

 

Didn’t they know about Scholar’s Mate?

 

It was only later I discovered that the game of chess is incredibly complex.

 

And what I have learned in the last 40+ years of studying this game is;

 

(1) Black does not have to respond 1…e5 to White’s first move.

 

(2) There are opening variations that go past the 10th, the 20th moves.

 

(3) There is usually a middle game.

 

(4) There are endings to learn.

 

(5) Books exist to help the beginner, the novice, the merely good player, the experienced player, the expert and the master.

 

(6) And Grandmasters know Scholar’s Mate.

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