I go through some strange phases sometimes. Ok, all the time. I get a thought about something and it becomes an itch i have to scratch.
This time, it was chess.
I was taught how to play chess on the beach in the Marshall Islands when i was about 8 by Korean fellow named Wong. Yes, Wong. I was hooked from then on was one of those nerdy kid that actually checked out books about chess from the county library.
My social development was a bit stunted… I was a late bloomer, but I recovered eventually. Kinda.
The last few years have been a bit shallow in the chess department, but a week or so ago, i decided i wanted to play again. I even found in unorganized pile, a book on chess strategy.
Something started to itch.
The Capitol Hill district in Seattle is considered a pretty hip place. Why than, is a chess set so hard to find!? One little game shop had a cheap cardboard and plastic set and and something called “No Stress Chess” (that is no fun), and another one had a giant set that sets up on a mat that rolls into a tube.
It was entertaining though to find the game store that is the equivalent of the Big Bang Theory comic book store… there was a guy in there in a medieval robe apparently getting new cards for a role playing game tournament. I was waiting for Sheldon to walk in.
Alas, after waking the width of the hill, no legitimate chess set was found.
Tired and ready to relax, we pop in an episode of my favorite TV show, The West Wing and what is a central part of the episode? Chess. President Bartlett is playing multiple games on collectable sets that were given as gifts from the prime minister of India while giving monologues on the history of the game and famous players and opening moves. It was a brilliant episode, as usual.
Thanks to my book on chess strategy, I actually knew a little of what he was talking about but the itch became a rash.
Why do you taunt me, oh universe!?!?
Luckily, a two story gem of a toy shop downtown had a good selection and I have been able to get good enough set. It is not a collectible or anything, but will travel well.