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How and Why to Play Chess

How and Why to Play Chess



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Published by hopeyj
Comic essay on chess.
Comic essay on chess.

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Published by: hopeyj on Mar 29, 2007
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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One is always on the lookout for ways to make money. One is also rather lazy and wishesto avoid physical exertion. Today we will examine the game of chess because one hasread that there are people who make a lot of money by playing chess. Chess is game that,as far as one can determine, is generally played sitting down. We are on the right track here—money and chairs.I have spent many playing hours chess. (I have spent many hours doing other things too, but it is chess that we discussing here.) I have gotten to know the male members of myfamily very well by playing chess with them. I have impressed them many a time duringour chess games. Only recently I made a move that stunned my male relative (a Harvard boy, so of course he is brilliant). He was astonished. He said that never before in his lifehad he seen anyone do anything quite that stupid.People who are good at chess are considered very smart. I think that this is because theyhave figured out a way to make a lot of money while sitting down most of the time. Theymust be very smart. I sit down much of the time and work on this blog. But I haven’tearned any money from it. That is why I am looking into the subject of chess.In order to play chess, you will need some equipment.This equipment can be really neat and really expensive. The expensive part won’t be a problem once you start earning a lot of money by playing chess. Once you have made alot of money playing chess, you will be able to afford to buy a lot of nifty paraphernaliafrom chess-related Web sites and catalogs. Just reading about some of the materials fromwhich all the stuff involved in playing chess is made of makes one realize how muchmoney you can make by playing chess. I mean, if there are shops that cater to people whoare willing to buy chess pieces made from pewter or brass or marble (those all sound very pretty and weighty and handsome) and chess boards made of high gloss polyurethane(that sounds really elegant), there must be a lot of money in this activity.And there are those nifty clocks, too. You put a clock down and I make a move and then punch the clock and not you and then try to rattle you, my opponent. The chess schlock (spellcheckers) clock is used to measure how much time one is given to think. It wouldmake me nervous to know that I had only so much time to think, especially if myopponent is glaring at me or sighing or snorting contemptuously or rolling his eyes. But Iwould keep in mind that once I get good, I will make a lot of money and so ha ha.Sometimes, I don’t even have to think about my moves. Indeed, it is probably just as wellthat I not think about my moves as they generate guffaws amongst onlookers when I takeso long to do something not overly shrewd.Male relative: You don’t want to do that.Me: I don’t?Male relative: No, you want to put it here. Here, I’ll show you.
At this point, the male relative takes the piece from your (actually my) hand and puts itinto place and I think, although am never sure, that he begins to play my side of the boardas well as his and I think one of us wins, which is all very nice and things end amicablyand dinner is ready. I have no doubt that my male opponents in the world of professionalchess will be every bit as nice as my male relatives.I think there are female chess champions and that they make a lot of money, although onenever sees anything about them in the paper. I am assuming that that is because womenare so good at chess that they are able to retire on their winnings early in their careers andthereafter leave the field to the men. All the more reason for my female readers and me toget started on our professional chess careers. The sooner we do, the sooner we can retire.Famous chess players have competed against chess-playing computers and lost but gotlots of money for getting humiliated that way. I get humiliated playing chess a lot andmaking a lot of money by doing so would be very nice.Getting back to the equipment you will need. You will need a chessboard. A chessboardhas upon it 64 alternating black and white squares that are sometimes other colors. Isuggest having lots of rubber cement in the house because the little squares on the boardat my parents' are always coming loose, which is a bother. Once I am a rich chesschampion, I will buy a new chessboard. Maybe one made of ebony or maple or ash or rosewood. I don’t know that I would recognize some of these materials if I saw them. ButI would have a manager who would handle all that for me and I would tell him to buyonly the best.I have read that famous chess players are fussy about the conditions under which they play. They are picky about lighting and venues and the number of spectators. I won't fussat all as long as I’m making a lot of money.So you will need a board with alternating squares. That is, one black and one white or notand so on. Color seems to be a big issue in chess. For example:Color matters because there have to be different colors on the chessboard. That is so thatyou can tell where you are supposed to put your pieces. Or so that your nephew knowswhere to put your pieces for you, so that you don’t do anything that you don’t want to door that he doesn’t want you to do and he is usually right since he is playing the game for you, which is awfully sweet of him. If the chessboard were all of one color, it would behard to tell what is going on.Color also matters because your pieces and your opponent’s are of different colors. Thisalso helps everyone determine what is going on, which is always useful when people are playing a game.Sometimes chess players take hours and hours or even days to play a game. At this point,my chess games take only a few minutes, as my nephew says, “Checkmate,” a lot and I
think that either I have won or he has won. It is hard to tell given that I am not allowed tomove anything after I first stun him into silence by doing something colossally dumb.One of you takes one of the pieces and you try to guess what color is in which hand. If you get white or whatever the lighter of the colors is, you get to go first. Going first is agreat advantage, so many of my male relatives tell me, and they tell me exactly where tomove my pawn so as to gain the initiative. Initiative is important as it is part of strategyand strategy is all in chess. You have to learn to think strategically. And tactically. Andquickly.A pawn, by the way, is one of your pieces. And mine too, only mine are of a differentcolor from yours. This seems to be the point at which we should go over pieces since theyare what your nephews keep telling you not to move unless they say it is okay. It all hasto do with strategy and tactics, you see.Pawns. You will get several of them. Um—eight. You will start with eight pawns. Theyare rather useless and sit in front of things that you want to move somewhere but can’t because the blasted pawns are in the way. You always try get one of the pawns all the wayto the other side of the board, which takes forever. But if you can do that, the pawn becomes whatever you or you nephew want it to be to be--usually a queen because youhave lost yours by this point which your nephew scolds you for having been so carelessas to have allowed to have happened, which seems a bit hard on you given that he wasthe one who took it.The pawns are of minimal interest and often in the way, as I say, and there is someopening gambit the you are supposed to use in which they are supposed to be employedand you really should write that down. The pawns move in a straight line except in thehighly unlikely event that you have so arranged things that you find yourself in a positionto take one of your opponent's pieces, in which case they can move diagonally, as can bishops and queens but not rooks and the knight moves in an L-shape fashion and youlose many pieces to knights, damn things.The king sits on a color different from the queen who sits on whatever color she is andthat is men and women for you.It is important to protect the king because if you don’t, you could lose the game unlessyou are playing someone really stupid. There is an interesting maneuver called "castling"which involves the king and the rook and it is very irritating when your male relatives dothat, your having forgotten that they can and here you thought you were doing so well.That is so like them.The king is the most important piece on the chessboard, but the queen is the most powerful. So like her. As noted above (and this would be true even if it had not beennoted above), it is important to keep your queen if at all possible as she can do everythingexcept, for some reason, what a knight does. Must be something to do with the rules of chivalry. She can go way, way down the board provided that doesn’t jump over other 

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