Monday, November 23, 2009


November 23, 2009

Alright. Back off. I am not talking about coupling here. This afternoon, for the first time since I was in junior high at Alvin Jr. High School, I played a complete game of chess (Awkward confession: my friends will say that the only reason I played chess back then was because John Dupre also played chess. I can't say that I remember one way or the other).

Laying off chess for thirty-five years probably doesn't strike most of you as odd. Many of us took part in things during those graceless and best-forgotten years of our early youth that we abandoned and never returned to. I, however, happen to coach the Jane Long Middle School Chess Team.

I was willing to take up chess again when Davis joined the club eight or nine years ago, but I blinked, and before I could get the pieces arranged on the board, he far surpassed me in skill level. Needless to say, he dared not deign to play me (or perhaps more accurately, I quaked at the thought of playing him).

Since then, I have watched a lot of chess. I carted Davis around the state to tournaments and three times he played in the national tournament. Thus, when the opportunity arose to hang around with Erin's friends and meet some new kiddos interested in chess, I took on the challenge. I also, cunningly, recruited Spencer K., one of Davis's friends and teammates who goes to college here in town to do the heavy lifting. All fall I ducked playing. Last Monday, I took over someone else's game when he had to leave, and finished well. It gave me the confidence to sit in--start to finish--on a game today.

I have to say that I went down material and position fairly quickly. Luckily for my record, my opponent played too conservatively, leaving a crack open for me to make some gains, and then finally eke out a win in the end game. I may have to rest until January before I play again. I'm thinking hard about that "old dog," "new tricks" saying.


  1. A dog of any age can learn new tricks... and you are neither a dog nor "old"... check mate.

    What a great thing, to be teaching amaze me, again.

  2. I love chess :) My dad started playing it with me when I was really young, but it's so hard to find a friend to play it with now, no one knows the difference in any of the pieces and what they do.

    Infinite thanks for your kind words lately, they've been helping to get me through the days.

    Much love,

  3. Vickie, your entry on my blog regarding Thanksgiving traditions won the contest over at Nicholas Landon Jewelry. Mickey Johnson is going to make a nautical code necklace for you.. the nautical code is of any place that has special meaning for you... read her blog entry and contact her there...

  4. Sorry if this is a repeat... Vickie!!.. Your Thanksgiving traditions comment won the contest over at Nicholas Landon Jewelry!.. so contact Mickey Johnson at her blog and she will make you a nautical code necklace with the code for whatever location holds special meaning to you...

    Happy Thanksgiving...

  5. hi vickie -
    i should have stopped in yesterday, but maybe it's not to late to let you know i was thinking about you on thursday and hopng it went okay. you'll be in my prayers this whole holiday season.