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The Game
Mark, Age 12, Merced, CA

“In life as in chess, forethought wins”
               -Charles Buxton

After attending “Chess for Juniors”, a seminar taught by master chess player, Robert M. Snyder, many thoughts come to mind about my passion for chess. Although the memories are many, one makes me chuckle as I remember the first time I beat my father in this extremely difficult game.

It was a muggy afternoon and although the fan was blaring at a hundred miles an hour I could felt that perspiration had saturated my clothing. I was an unsuspecting victim as I ambled through our home. Following my every move was my dad and when I was within arms length he whispered in my ear, “Want to play chess?”

Quickly seizing the opportunity I replied, “You are on!”

In the opening moves, we both battled like brave soldiers and my thoughts were only of victory or defeat. Then, to my dad’s surprise, I made a move that boggled his mind when I played A4. I had a reason, but it was a deadly gamble that could cost me the game, or win it. Then my dad fell hard into my trap when he moved his pawn to A4 and captured my queen. I had moved it in harm’s way because I knew it would beckon to my dad in a seductive voice, “Take me.” Then with a horrifying cackle like that of an insane hyena, my dad removed the queen from the board. Finally, I slyly traveled my rook to the side of the board and said in a small voice, “Look at that. Checkmate!”

To this day I still remember the agony written all over his face. After spending all those times in my room trying to think of a plan to beat him it came so naturally. I knew then that chess was going to be my forte. And now, eight years later, with the help of Robert M. Snyder I routinely see that face.

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