The Checkered Challenge

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Photo by Alexander Redmon
A friend of mine has very recently reintroduced me to the highly addictive addiction that is chess. In fact, when at night my head hits the pillow my mind becomes the chessboard, and I am locked in a trance as I strategize, analyze and prepare for my next move.

The game usually begins when all others in the house have gone to sleep and it is just me, my opponent, and our virtual chessboard. A challenge is issued and the game is on. Out steps his first pawn. Now it's my turn. I choose a random piece and move it forward; I have no idea what I'm doing. It's his turn, and here comes another brilliant, calculated move. My turn: Crossing my fingers... "Maybe this will work?" His turn, and I begin to understand: "No wonder his name means 'hunter'."

On the game goes, the intensity increasing move by move. Yet we take our time. He entertains me with side-splitting stories, all the while secretly plotting my demise. He is by turns chivalrous, encouraging, teasing and taunting. Naturally, I'm enjoying this for more than just laughs, great company, and a very cool exchange of our life stories. I'm also sharpening my skills of observation, analysis, and strategy. I'm learning to think ahead, to envision multiple outcomes.

Yet one would think I'd use these sharpened skills to strategize an optimal sleep pattern, to envision the inevitable outcome of a game played until two in the morning. Or as was suggested last night, perhaps we're just a couple gluttons for punishment. LOL

Oh, by the way, my dear husband: Your move.