Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Your Move

I suck at chess. And as fate would have it, I happen to routinely run into and befriend too many people who don't. My brother gleefully checkmated me for a good ten years before I made it to college, where Pandu continued to do the honours, if only on his computer and not with one of those magnetic chess pieces. Further west from R, my dorm currently houses a guy who holds an ELO rating almost good enough to complete one of the requirements for an IM norm. I've been wise enough not to chalenge the last of those buggers, but while frequent encounters with my brother and Pandu left me baffled, obviously, I didn't fail to stump my opponents, too. For someone they didn't mind considering fairly bright and one who could get the game, my performances were quite surprising. I'd often challenge them, in response, to a rapid game, with less than 30 seconds fr each move. My win-loss record registered at least some non-zero entries in the first column, and it wouldn't be too hard for me to connect the dots.
I loved playing chess - making moves and waiting for their results was the fun part - not evaluating one of the myriad possibilities for the fourth move after the current one! This spur-of-the-moment, zero-response-time, all-action approach won few games, but was fun while it lasted. The only learning I thus got was from moves or patterns seen in past games, which rarely mattered when I played moves that were never to be repeated impulsively again!

I remembered this aberration in thought games when I wrote the very first words of this little piece. I had no plan for where it was supposed to go. While I knew the result would be something like this, the path was uncharted.
Hell, come to think of it - I think it was this very approach that's brought me to the two colleges I've been to. I'm really hoping that I'm not castling blithely while life watches on with a knowing shrug.


Nisha Chandramoorthy said...

Instead of wondering if you are "castling blithely", you should sell your own tech-ed up "move fast break things" strategy. Winning zero-response-time games means more than what you make it out to be, I am sure.

Murty said...

I sure hope so! I'm thinking one such thing could be what Peter Thiel does. But I don't have his money!