If you are a non-chess player, you may wonder what all the fuss is about. People spend hours staring at a board, intermittently moving around small wooden pieces. There’s little talking, little movement, just a lot of staring and thinking … and smoking. For some reason, a lot of chess players smoke their brains out. My grandfather, the man who taught me chess, seemingly could not play without a cigarette between his fingers. It also made him look rather formidable, what with the constant stream of smoke blowing from his nose.
The legendary Mikhail Tal also smoked non-stop.
If you’ve never played chess, everything I’m about to say will seem strange. Nonetheless, I will try to illustrate the magic of chess, of how it ensnares an unfortunately few and refuses to let them go. Many people play chess, often just as a fun pasttime, but a select few become well and truly obsessed. Continue reading →
I didn’t want to wake up this morning. It may be Sunday, my favourite day of the week, but I had trouble getting out of bed. My blankets were wrapped too tight around me, snug like a bug. Perhaps my unconscious mind already perceived the horror that awaited me out the front door. I don’t know. If I could have stayed in my bed all day, I would have seriously considered it.
At some point, perhaps because of the bathroom’s call, I dragged myself out of bed, and as I stumbled along in my half awake state, I happened to glance outside. Perhaps I shouldn’t have. This is what I saw.