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The 14 Year Old Chess Genius - The Life and Thoughts of Zach — LiveJournal

Dec. 27th, 2004

01:16 am - The 14 Year Old Chess Genius

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So I've been hanging out all day with this 14 year old son of this couple that was kind of like my auxilliary extra parents when I was very young. This kid is a crazy chess genius and earlier tonight we played 3 games. I won the first one simply because I was burning all my brain cells on full power AND the kid was being REALLY laid back and made some mistakes because he knew he was going to kick my ass. I lost the second two.

My brain is more melty now than it's been in a long time. A night of Dune and AdCiv and Illuminati with a room of IMSA geeks do not do this to my brain. I think the problem is that I just know NOTHING about chess. I play it like once every few years, usually against either someone way better or way worse than me. I don't know any of the theory. I don't know any "openings". I don't know anything about "controlling the center". I don't know what my moves "mean". I don't have any high level cognitive understanding of the game beyond the rules. It's like I know notes but not chords.

So when I play I have to reinvent the entire game every time. And I'm a smart guy so I can hold my own sometimes. Fumbling in the dark I can make some occasional smart moves and usually avoid the bad ones. But I am still fumbling in the dark and sometimes I happen to get lucky. I think when I do well it is only because I play so badly that people get thrown off...thinking I've got something up my sleeve.

Anyway, I now need to just veg my brain out for a while and recover. Wow.

Current Mood: impressedimpressed


[User Picture]
Date:December 27th, 2004 06:32 pm (UTC)
Yay melty brains! :D

I'm in much the same place with chess; I played it a few times, I don't have any high level grasp of the game, and it takes a lot of work just to play it.

It's cool to have a real brain stretcher now and then... :)
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Date:December 27th, 2004 09:46 pm (UTC)


I also play chess against youngsters who show great talent. There is an eight year old who competes in Connecticut. He studies with a grand master and holds his own against expert and A rated players. It is an interesting experience to lose on occasion to an eight year old. By the time he's fourteen he will most likely be a master.
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