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  • Tom Boyd

Chess Bucket

I have expanded my bucket list to include playing in a chess tournament in each of the 50 states. This should keep me mentally active if not alive until I am in my 90s. Also it has Nancy eagerly waiting for the Hawaii chess tournament (could be long wait, may be # 50).

I recently played in Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington which brings my total in playing states to 4 and with only 46 states to go! I won 4, lost 3 and drew 1 against dudes from 10 to 60 in age. I much prefer the older players. The kids seem to dream and live chess and most are on the way up in ability. My suitcase is bigger than some of them and I hate being one of their scalps as they climb in the ratings. I once beat the California State Champion (of the second grade) and sure enough two years later he was Expert class and beat me, a class B player. I did draw with Nicholas Nip Youngest Chess Master in History, ( see him on YouTube from Regis talk show) but of course we played earlier and he was 6 at the time.

Being Class B has mixed blessings. I am 68% against those rated lower than me but only 30% against those rated higher. The positive aspect is that my overall rating is # 9,992 of 58,694 tournament chess players. I am at the 84 Percentile for tournament chess players of the United States Chess Federation. I view that as a positive and will try to remember that next time an 8-year-old kid, sitting on a booster chair and with a hovering chess mom, beats me.

I think some guys are nuts to retire and do nothing but play golf. I like my bucket list plan better, at least I play indoors all the time and regardless of the weather.

I wish you a hobby that you love and the time and energy to engage in it.

New to Chess?If you’re a newcomer to this 1500-year-old game, we want to help you get better. Browse through detailed material including the official rules, a glossary and a FAQ and chess history designed especially for those starting out.

If you learned the rules years ago, a 45-second refresher video is perfect for you.

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