30. Learn to play chess
Thanks to a wonderful friend, I can (sort of) cross number 30 off my 30 before 30 list. My friend has now taught me how to play chess… twice. Fortunately for our friendship, he is a kind, supportive, helpful person. This did not prove so helpful for my learning to play chess. Both times, it went something like this:
Patrick gives a calm, careful explanation of the rules of chess while Lauren tries to listen intently.
The game begins.
Eventually, there are ways for pieces to be captured.
After nearly each and every one of Lauren’s moves, Patrick grumbles something along the lines of, “Are you sure you want to do that?”
Eventually, Lauren demands that such warnings stop, “So I can learn from my mistakes!” and Patrick wins almost immediately.
Patrick suggested that I play chess online, so I could get more practice and hopefully learn some strategy. At first, I refused, claiming that I couldn’t be the kind of person that plays chess online. Eventually, in a moment of weakness, I played fifty-some games of chess against my computer… on the easiest possible level. I won one game. One.
I’m impulsive. I know this about myself, but never made the connection that you cannot be an impulsive person and play chess. In every game, I make moves, and then yell, “Oh no!” as I suddenly see how the piece I just moved can be captured seventeen different ways. Clearly, I am no Bobby Fischer. Still, I wanted to win one game before I crossed this off the list. Beating the computer… once… is good enough for me.