I of course took it with all the grace and humility of a world-class diplomat. I accused her of hacking into the town computers in order to alter the softball schedules without updating the parents. In this way, Lauren would then have to call me repeatedly while attempting to drop Meghan off at practice, thus distracting me from our game. It was brilliant really, but her tremendous hacking and social engineering skills didn’t detract from the fact that she was a filthy cheater.
Yeah, she didn’t buy it either. She even refused my offer to issue a statement on national television refuting my earlier claim of foul play. That kid is a class act.
When playing with Colleen, I have always had two goals; to beat her, and to teach her how to beat me. I guess this proves that I’m either I’m a really good teacher or that I suck at chess. I suppose both could be true, but then if I’m really good at teaching sucky chess, how did she beat me? I am, after all, her only teacher.
She beat me by taking what I’d taught her and using it against me. She beat me by using my blunders to her advantage. She beat me by seeing an advantage and seizing the chance at winning the game. She won by being aggressive and defensive at the right times. She won by losing many times and not being upset, but rather enjoying the games and learning from her losses. Did I mention that she’s only nine?
It really doesn’t matter how she beat me. What matters is that she did, and that she didn’t cheat.
What does matter, to me at least, is that Collie beat me on my own handmade chessboard, that I built as a gift for my dad in 1977. She beat me using the pieces that he bought before I was born – the same pieces that he and I used to play with before his untimely death in 1982.
To honor her achievement, I wrote an inscription on the bottom of that board and we both signed it, the same way I signed the board when I gave it to my dad more almost 35 years ago. The board and pieces are the ones seen in the pictures on this page. That’s her hand you see moving a piece as well.
Today Colleen beat her old man at chess. That’s a milestone that I don’t think she quite understands yet. She didn’t even brag about it to all her friends at school. I don’t recall ever beating my dad at chess, but I can assure you that I would have told everyone and their cat if I did.
In honor of Colleen’s great game, and her humility in the face of victory, I offer this blog entry to the world. Congratulations Collie. Good Game!