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.