Friday, July 3, 2009

Old Opponents

Do you ever feel strange playing a really old dude? And I don't mean just old. I mean way old and way overrated. I guess it's the opposite phenomena of the 12 year old kid who's abilities are increasing at a faster pace than his rating.

One of my biggest wins from a ratings standpoint was against an elderly gentleman who's best chess days were far behind him...but he would still come out to the weekend tournaments every once in a while with a smile on his face. Even in the summer, he would wear a collar and sports coat...both of which had to be at least 30 years old. He had the look of a widower who had not purchased a stitch of clothing since his wife's funeral many years ago.

He was 19 years old and serving as a chemist in the military when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor...and one afternoon several of us were captivated by his retelling of the experience.

This man once had a rating that I will never come close to achieving.

But was now being crushed in the lower section by some jackass like me.

So many others give up or become bitter when their abilities fade.

Not this guy.

He died a while back and I think about him quite a lot.

11 comments:

CMoB said...

That is a nice post. Thanks for sharing.

John aka Endgame Clothing said...

CMoB - Thanks for stopping by.

Chess? said...

i hope that i am still playing the game when i am that old. tje quality of life isn't there it the mind is gone. thanks.

John aka Endgame Clothing said...

Chess? - I agree...this guy was ultimately a winner because he was still out there doing what he loved.

Admin said...

nice words

John aka Endgame Clothing said...

Thanks for stopping by, Admin.

Polly said...

The old geezers never cease to amaze me. One can watch them struggling to read the pairings, or get to their table. Their hand make may be shaking as they pick up a piece, and try to place it on a square. You see their rating ends in 00 so you know they're sitting on their floor. You think you're going to score a win with all these things working in your favor, and then....

Damn, you discover looks are deceiving and they still have a lot of fight left in them. I directed a tournament last week with a 81 year old guy playing. I hope I still have enough marbles left when I get to that age.

John aka Endgame Clothing said...

Polly - 81 years old?!?! That's great!

Custom t shirts said...

Doing the thing which you want to do is every thing. So he is a winner a champ.

John aka Endgame Clothing said...

Hey Custom - I agree!!

Mary said...

Hi,


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