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Chaos Machine™


So, Kris has been playing chess fairly intensely during this pandemic. He studies openings, plays many games a day, watches all the tournaments, is really focused on this game. Is really interesting to watch him become so into the game.

Early last week, I jokingly suggested that he play against me. I learned to play when I was maybe 4, 5? Unsure, but very young, right along the time Dad taught us how to play poker. Realistically, I haven't played in 30 years. I didn't remember some of the rules ("You can't castle through check"), or even know one of them (cough, en passant).

I said, "You've been studying all these openings. We should play, because I'll be chaotic. You won't know what to expect!"

He commented that my ceiling is higher than his (warm fuzzies): he thinks I would be a better chess player than he is, but it would take me a bit to figure things out. I would win, but would likely lose 99 games before I won my first game.

I said, I was game, I'm willing to lose 99 games in a row while I figure things out. I've been working hard to take my ego out of my experiences, to enjoy them more. Let's do it.

So, we played our first game last Thursday. I played chaos style, which pretty much means, "Oh, this move looks good." He won.

We played our second game last Saturday. I continued to play chaos, and won. He blundered one particular move, and I capitalized on it. Lucky move, I said. He agreed.

We started our third game on Sunday, and finished it tonight. I, again, played chaos style. Three times in the game he said, "I wasn't expecting that move." Well, I won. He had a big blunder, wasn't sure how to defend, so went on the offense and I slipped into the back row for mate. I was up the entire game, though.

I feel like an ass. He's been studying for nearly 2 years now, been building up his ranking. I haven't played in 30 years, and 3 games in, I've won 2 of them.

I wrote all of this out to process it. I shared it with a group of friends, with the conclusion that I'm going stop playing against him. I don't need/want to feel like an ass for a game that he enjoys and I was playing with the expectations of losing. I think those expectations are why I won: didn't care. And I don't want to start caring.

Except all those friends rightfully commented that, well, Kris will learn not to make his blunders if I keep capitalizing on them. If he can beat the computer, but can't beat the CHAOS MACHINE™ (cough, me), well then, maybe more studying is required. Or more playing people, not machines.

Okay then, only 98 more games left to lose.

Update: Yup, those two games appeared to have been flukes. I'm down 2 games to 3. Still feel like an ass, though.


And now the score is 3-3, with quite the hard battle waged in tonight's game. I won with my king and one pawn about to be promoted, to his king. The defining point of the game was my ability to march my pawns down the board. That game was a battlefield bloodbath.

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