My father taught me how to play chess at an early age. I took an interest in it because it was a time for bonding with my dad and it was a game we could play almost anywhere. I used to get frustrated to the point of anger when my dad would win. I did not know yet that the game is easy to learn the basic moves but takes a lifetime to master. After several years of playing, at an age of about 10, I saw that my dad was not giving the game his FULL attention (kind of like a baseball player going up to bat and the pitcher saying to step forward because the batter cant hit far) and I took full advantage of his distraction and was able to win. Those wonderful words “checkmate” caused my dad to stare at the chessboard in utter disbelief. He knew that I had advanced a level that made him pay more attention for future games. Our family had an understanding in that you always played a game at your best so that when someone wins, it was a legitemate win and no one ‘let’ you win, so that day that I won was real. 

Nepoleon Bonapart played chess with many officers in his army because it taught how to plan a battle and avoid traps set by your opponent. The romantic era of chess was around 1700 thru the late 1800’s. Prior to WWII, some stores would employ people to play chess in front of their stores to attract crowds to watch in hopes that some people would shop in the store. One such man, I am told, was Humphrey Bogart. Before his time in Hollywood, he would be paid to play chess in front of a small store so as to attract crowds.

Chess is a game of mental strategy. You have to plan your battle and avoid the traps of your opponent. Because of the unique structure of the game, no game will have the same moves. The chance of two people making the same moves as another two people are astronomical improbableand is statistically impossible. Learning chess expands your mind by forcing you to think ahead, “what will my opponent do if I move here”? is something that you might think as you progress in your experience. That kind of thinking is good in life as well. Critical thinking skills.

Chess can be seen in literature and cinema. Midieval paintings, poems, Star Trek and Ian Flemmings ‘From Russia with Love’ where the villian used chess tactics in espionage. Even in science fantasy movies like ‘X-Men the last stand’ when Magneto says to some of his closer alies ‘You sacrifice your pawns first before you send in your power players’.

I also remember my 1st year college psychology where advertisers use psychology to shape public opinions and public action. I remember an article that I read where alcohol distributors had a skull and crossbones subliminally shadowed in the ice of an adult beverage to indicate danger. Look at the fast food restaurant ‘Wendys’ mascott whos necklace subliminally spells ‘mom’ to indicate the food was like moms. 

So, with Covid-19 going on for over a year now, and with most people getting tired of the new unnatural norm, there are radio and television commercials trying to make you feel guilty if you dont run out and get a covid-19 vaccine. The radio ‘ad’ I listened to this morning was from a supposed church pastor trying to encourage everyone to get vaccinated so we can restart enjoying our God given constitutionally guaranteed rights to go to church. The radio ‘pastor’ claimed it to be unpatriotic not to get the vaccine. 

Now, I am not an ‘anti-vaccer’, but I prefer to wait to see if there are any side effects. This vaccine is a medical miricle and was developed at a record pace, but because the process was ‘rushed’, we just don’t know if there will be any side effects. We also don’t know how long the vaccine will be good for or how it will be effected by the new variants. Also, if John gets the vaccine but Jack doesn’t, John is theoretically protected, right? So why the major push for everyone to get vaccinated? So, I consider myself something betterthan a pawn, so I will wait and take the road less traveled, and see if there are any long lasting side effects before making the decision. And the harder you try to force me to take it, the harder I will fight to keep my freedom to choose. I would rather die of Covid-19 than live under government control. Check-mate

2 thoughts on “Chess

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