If one gets too comfortable with a way of life, a situation or anything, he or she risks losing the skill to adapt. The inability to adapt means extinction and this is particularly true in chess.
I could say that I am a competent player in chess although I do need to sharpen my mind a bit – well maybe by a whole lot – before playing a serious game. However, I have one weakness – I love white so much that I can’t remember when the last time I played black. I may master most of white openings but I have only one or two openings for black.
One day, saw somebody played chess. Having almost nothing exciting to do for the whole week, I decided to have a little game. The person asked whether do I mind playing black and somehow, I said no. At first I didn’t realize the significant of the lame no. So, we prepared the board for a game with the typical 32 black and white pieces of pawn and all other sorts on a 64 black and white squares beautifully carved on a wooden board.
So, it was the first move by white. White’s favorite, king’s pawn to E4. I replied with what most amateurs and to some extend professionals do, my king’s pawn to E5. White’s king side knight galloped ahead to threaten my king’s pawn. Automatically, my hand reached for my king side knight to protect the pawn. Then, he did my favorite white’s move; white queen’s pawn marched to its king’s pawn side.
I on the other hand, under my breath pronounced shit. White manned its battle stations in the middle of the board, a realization came to my mind – I was playing black, one move late with my king and queen reversely positioned with respect to white. Well, actually it’s not reversely positioned with respect to white but rather the black queen is on the black square instead of on the white square. It was a total disorientation.
I totally didn’t know what to do next. I was officially screwed. It was the feeling when you enter an exam hall, thinking that you know everything, only later to read the exam questions and have not even one bit of clue what the questions are asking for. Yes. It was that bad. Plus, there were a few people watching the game and that made it even more embarrassing.
Somehow, that gave me a crystal ball view of what I might encounter during my internship in Eastern Europe, if I go, and boy it would be sucked to experience it. I seriously need to learn black’s openings, fast.
I lost but not due to failure to adapt. Rather, a silly mistake where the white’s knight checked my king and my queen in one move. Rewinding one move back, if I had positioned my queen on another box, I could have checkmated white within two moves but hell, I hate knights.
And hey, this is the 300th post!