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  • Tom Boyd


June 26, 2012 / Boyd & Nicholas

Since 1973 I have been an often beaten and frustrated member of the United States Chess Federation (USCF) I am a “Fischer Baby” as the USCF went from 30,000 members to 100,000 members in 72-73 thanks to Bobby Fischer , the greatest player of all times and a nut. Today we are short of the 100,000 members. I am a class B player and have tried for years to reach class A and beyond (expert, national master , etc.). My rating shows that I am in the top 15% of USCF tournament chess players so I am grateful for that while wishing for better.

I hate kids. I play too many kids who benefit from chess in school programs and chess summer camps. Neither existed when I was a kid. When I applied for a chess summer camp and the application forms included a required parent consent form I knew I was in for trouble. Sure enough the camps don’t take anyone over 18. I thought of lying and faking it. Or suing for age discrimination. I am going to damage the next photographer who takes a picture of me playing a small and cute 7 or 8 year old Chinese kid. They must think it is David and Goliath.  If they only knew. I have played the CA state champion (of the second grade) twice and the youngest kid to become a master (before he was one). Regis and Kelly    Won 1, lost 1, drew 1. And neither kid was over 10 at the time. Depressing.

Chess teaches manners as players are quiet and shake hands before and after the game. Can be a problem if you have cause to celebrate. Once after beating an old kid of 14 in a tough and long game I politely thanked him for the game and then went to a stall in the men’s bathroom and screamed joyously. I think the guy in the next stall had a heart attack and everyone else cleared out of there in a hurry.

A chess hybrid has been created, started in Germany (figures) . Chess boxing is a hybrid sport that combines chess with boxing in alternating rounds. Chess boxing is now growing in popularity. Participants must be skilled as both boxers and chess players, as a match may be won either way. A match consists of up to eleven alternating rounds of boxing and chess. The match begins with a four-minute chess round. This is followed by three minutes of boxing, with rounds of chess and boxing alternating until the end. Now I can really get my butt kicked figuratively and literally.

I think everybody should have a hobby that they can enjoy. This may exclude golf as I know few happy golfers. I don’t understand why anyone would watch golf on TV, watching chess being played is much more fun. I am amazed that the TV stations don’t agree with me.

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