Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mason's New Game

Mason has taken to chess. The apple has firmly come to rest at the base of the tree. He saw the game two days ago during his first day of school. He didn't know what it was, but he knew he wanted to play. This morning, he asked to go to school early so he could play chess.

Yesterday, I pulled most of the Rubbermaid tubs off the shelves in the garage searching for my chess set. I finally found it. The chess set is at least 17 years old as the board was a memento from the U.S. High School Chess Championships held in Lexington, Kentucky in 1992.

My brother Greg and I played chess daily in High School. We were closet chess dorks. Well maybe not the closet or chess part. But we loved it. We were playing chess when the news reporter announced the ground invasion during the first Gulf War. We played constantly. Eventually, we sought others to play (I bet we played at least a thousand games against each other). Somehow we discovered that the other schools in our conference (the mighty Greater Miami Conference) all had chess teams. In the fall of my junior year, we approached the administration with a budget request of $200 (I think). Just enough to purchase five chess sets and five chess clocks. They responded that if we found a sponsor (errrr, coach) then we had a deal. Mr. Brackenridge (now a Dr. apparently), offered to do it. We had now idea what response we would get. It turns out there were four other guys that liked chess as much as we did (not bad out of 1,700 students).

So, off we went. It turns out we were pretty good. We went 11-0-1 in our first year and were the GMC Champions. My senior year we were 12-0. The real irony revolves around the GMC all-sports trophy that is awarded to the school in the conference that has the best overall record across all sports. Sycamore had never one it before my junior year. Partly because of the chess team, and because of how well we did, Sycamore was awarded the trophy. Dorks of the world unite!

All of us on the team had a good sense of humor about the whole thing and I don't remember any harrassment from the other students. We maintained a low profile, did our thing and had fun.

I hope Mason develops a love for the game as well. Now I just have to teach him how the pieces move.


Anonymous said...

The Sycamore chess team went on to go 10 year undefeated. 119-0-1.

Just incase you had forgotten.


Doug H. said...

I had no idea the record was that impressive. I remember them doing well, but Wow!