Saturday, October 8, 2011


Most of the health-focused articles and web sites I read strongly encourage us to keep our brains active in retirement.  As we’ve discussed what we might want to do during those lazy evenings at the campsite, Paul suggested we buy a chess board and re-learn the game.
Paul and I have never played chess together. We did play backgammon a few times while we were dating, but it seemed I could never win and I hated that – so I quit playing.  OK, bad attitude, but it has unfortunately been the prevailing attitude.  We still own the backgammon board, but we’ve never bought a chess board.

The last time I played chess I was 22.  It was at a new boyfriend’s cabin, and even though I hadn’t played in 10 years I beat him quite soundly.  I went on to beat him, his brother and his father at poker.  Let’s say some male feathers were ruffled that evening…but that’s another story.

So, 30 + years later, I hope that my attitude toward losing to my husband will have mellowed and we will spend many an enjoyable evening playing this time-honored game of strategy.

Benjamin Franklin once said, "The Game of Chess is not merely an idle amusement; several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired and strengthened by it, so as to become habits ready on all occasions; for life is a kind of Chess, in which we have often points to gain, and competitors or adversaries to contend with, and in which there is a vast variety of good and ill events, that are, in some degree, the effect of prudence, or the want of it. By playing at Chess then, we may learn: 1st, Foresight, which looks a little into futurity, and considers the consequences that may attend an action ... 2nd, Circumspection, which surveys the whole Chess-board, or scene of action: - the relation of the several Pieces, and their situations; ... 3rd, Caution, not to make our moves too hastily...."

I promise not to throw the chess board off the table if I lose. 

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