December 28th 2020
Today I rediscovered a dimension of chess I’ve not previously faced in my two weeks losing repeatedly to either the AI or real players on chess.com: gamesmanship.
I played three games against my dad, on an actual, real board. With real pieces and real squares, in real life — remember real life?
I soon found that as well as tactics and smart play, reactions and expressions were a key part of any attempt to beat my Dad. If I reacted too soon to his move — before he’d had chance to take his finger from the piece — he’d cancel his move, realising he’d done what I’d wanted him to do.
I learnt that in some cases, if I cringed or exhaled after playing a move, he’d think I’d made a mistake, and go along with the trap I’d left. For example, I’d left a knight hanging on e4, and as soon as I’d “realised” that, I recoiled and gasped. I moved my hand back towards it, but it was “too late”. Dad took my knight on e4. However, he didn’t realise that in doing so, he revealed a discovered attack on his queen on g6. And that’s exactly what I’d hoped he’d do.
If I’d’ve moved too quickly, in that situation, he may have realised his mistake before confirming it. However, because I stuttered and spluttered, it worked out. You don’t get that on chess.com.
Also, yes I’m blogging about chess but I’m also blogging about people.
Until tomorrow, bishop takes g6.