Chess, anyone?

I am currently playing chess with a friend who is known as an astute businessman. My instinct tells me he’s good. I think my process of becoming a good player will be this: get my ass handed to me regularly as I read about the game. 

Another friend, Howard, is a great player. Twenty-five times, he defeated me before I finally managed a win. Another time I almost defeated him, only to make the wrong move and accidentally end the game in a stalemate. Howard is the kind who likes to make a game interesting: he’ll sacrifice his queen after taking out your queen. It’s like two fighters throwing down their weapons and deciding on bare knuckle. 

Another friend I played against told me I’m too predictable. All three of my sons can play, and one of them said I have a huge penchant for castling as soon as possible.

Tigran Petrosian and Vladimir Kramnik were/are known for their impenetrable defenses. Garry Kasparov is known for his aggressive offense. Bobby Fischer was so brilliant that sometimes he’d deliberately make a terrible move (in chess analysis, it’s known as ?! or ??!) as if to say, “I can make what would be a fatal move for a mortal player and STILL win the match!”

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Three new books bought

Someday I would like to have my own garden and grow my own herbs and vegetables, and since I felt nostalgic, I successfully bid on Ebay for Dick Raymond’s The Joy of Gardening. My parents also have a copy.

I also bought Garry Kasparov’s autobiography and intend to read it.

A third book, whose title I will not identify, I purchased to research a novel I am working on. The novel might be published under a pseudonym, since it’s intended to be a Christian love story, and I intend romance literature to be a one-time only venture.

Reading Garry Kasparov’s autobiography ‘Child of Change’

Reading it, it doesn’t surprise me at all that former world chess champion Garry Kasparov majored in English (as a foreign language) when he attended college in his native Azerbaijan. His English is better than that of most Americans.

garry kasparov

Some consider Garry Kasparov the world’s all-time greatest chess player.

Including, admittedly, mine.

Kasparov’s book is so far a fascinating read. His full name is now Garry Kimovich Kasparov, but apparently it was originally Garik Kimovich Weinstein. He was born in Baku, Azerbaijan and was the son of an Azerbaijani mother (who, herself, was of Armenian descent) and a Russian Jewish father. Kasparov’s father died when he was young, and since his mother’s Kasparian family did not have any males to carry on the name, he chose to do so and Russified Kasparian to Kasparov.

I often have thought the key to success in life is find people you admire (for good reasons) and read about them. Learn from them.

Perhaps something else about Gospodin Kasparov that appeals to me is that he is well-read and well-traveled and very active. Those are three things I aspire greatly to. He notes how much English literature he’s read but marvels at how few Americans have read Russian literature extensively.

It’s not the fastest reading book in the world, but it’s an enjoyable read so far.

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