Over the course of my winter break, I spent most of my time learning and playing a new skill game. My younger brother decided to gift our dad a really cool chessboard, as we noticed his increasing interest in The Queen’s Gambit. My dad has already been very familiar with chess since he used to play it in break rooms with his coworkers during my early childhood. At times, he would bring me and my brother to work, so I would see them play from afar and always wondered how people could be so intrigued by this game.
I’ve always been a very curious and eager person to try new things. My parents gave me and my brother the freedom to explore any hobbies that interested us. Having always been a lover of puzzles and figuring things out, I finally decided to give chess a try. I’ve had my assumptions before about chess being boring, but that changed when I played it myself. It’s not that the game is boring, it’s just that patience is key in this.
Before delving into playing the game, my dad explained to me the rules and what each piece could do. My first thought after my first go at it was that this was not an easy game. I’m impulsive as is, so I found myself moving the pieces without really strategizing my opponent’s (my dad) next moves. We kept playing round after round, and I grew more frustrated with the game because I knew I was making simple mistakes. Thankfully, I started to get the hang of it and became more careful with my moves. We continued to play for a few more days, and I even started playing chess on my phone at times because I was so invested in being able to improve.
What I gained from this really fun experience was that I need to practice patience with myself and any skill game in general. Playing chess with my dad made me realize where I get my competitiveness and determination from. I probably didn’t feel the same level of rush as Beth Harmon did, but I most certainly felt her drive and dedication in learning and being able to now play this game. I understood how she didn’t want to stop learning about it because like her, once I am learning something, I can never put it down.
I think that with way more practice I could improve, but the thing with me is that once I get the hang of a hobby, I always think of which new interest I should learn next. Aside from the fact that I am no chess master, I genuinely enjoyed playing with my pops and spending quality time with him. (Yes, even if I lost and he put me in checkmate each time.