Sunday, January 27, 2008

Pawn Moves #4: Fischer's Ghost

An unexpected change of direction. A new plan of attack. A farewell that awakens old feelings.

When I heard about Bobby Fischer’s passing, I was at work. I felt stunned, reading and rereading the article. Growing up, Fischer was basically my sports hero, my Babe Ruth, my Wilt Chamberlain, my Tiger Woods. Even his decline into an eccentric madness didn’t tarnish how I felt about him. He was still, to me, the greatest chess player that ever lived, or at least, lived in my time. As a silent tribute, I took the white king from a chess set I keep at work and placed it, on its side, on the tray of the white board in my office. To me, he was the fallen king.

As if infecting me like a virus, touching that king piece and remembering my feelings from those days long ago got me, I fear, back into chess. This last week I’ve done little else but check out websites for playing and reading about chess. I’ve ordered a new chess computer, dug out old books (can’t find the bulk – they might have been sold – but thankfully, I kept some of the best ones), ordered new ones from Amazon, and bought two new programs – Cyber Chess (a cheesy and cheap looking program) and Fritz Grandmaster Challenge (I always wanted to get a Fritz chess program). Both were $10 value packs from Fry’s so the investment was minor. The new chess computer (sort of a chess dedicated PDA) was a bit more, coming in at $45.

Actual gaming has been somewhat less than the “material collection” but that’s always how it starts. I’ve played one game on Yahoo (someone thought I’d fall for a fool’s mate) and won. A DS game went somewhat less well. And I’ve got a game going on my Kasparov mini.

How long will this last? Hard to say. Probably not going to get much video gaming in while it lasts, but maybe absence makes the controller grow fonder.

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