Monday, July 14, 2008

My "Sort Of" Trophy

It's odd how a single post about Wimbledon has got me onto a Memoir track that I hadn't intended to travel. I like to do that sometimes though — write about my past. It was Ginnie at Goldendaze-ginnie who first put me onto this possible use of blog space. That was her primary purpose in starting her blog — to record moments of her life and times for the benefit of her family ... and others. Although Ginnie has had a much more varied and interesting life than I, I do like the idea of recording my past, some of the time anyway, for posterity.

That's my way of telling Dear Reader that I am not quite done with recollections of my brief sorties into the world of competition. I do understand that eyes will glaze over at this point and that most will click onto the next blog. Just as long as y'all come back, eh?

In my last post, I mentioned that I would win a trophy ... sort of ... or of sorts ... or however exactly I phrased it then. It was to come from a very unexpected win at chess of all things. Now, I am required to back up and set the stage, but I'll try to give you the quick version.

For many years, I had mentored the school chess club and team. The club would meet in my room in almost every lunch hour. Some years, despite the silly notion of chess players being uncool, nerdish wimps, we had quite a full house with an assortment of students. Over the years, I've had tough guys, football players, hockey players, and track champions in the club and on the team, so the nerd image doesn't necessarily hold up, or didn't in my club.

I would often play against the kids at noon and frequently was quite successful. I'd play the best players and usually give a good account of myself, winning more than losing. There came a point when I wondered how I would fare against good, adult competition, so on one cold, winter evening, I showed up at the city chess club. Just in time for a round robin tournament. Yikes!

After a shaky start which involved getting used to the deeper level of play, I eventually managed to tie for first place after about two months of round robin play (one match per evening one night a week). The achievement was not as glorious as it sounds, for they referred to this tournament as their amateur tournament which the two best players sat out in order to give the rest of us a fighting chance. Nevertheless, the competition was still good: for the most part better than what I had been used to in the quicker lunch hour matches with the kids.

Then came the sort of trophy. The club presented me with a huge trophy that just about required a truck to transport to my house. I was to have it for a time and then pass it onto the co-winner. Since I hadn't won a trophy up to that point in my life, Cuppa had the trophy shop make me a small, permanent reminder of this slight achievement. And that's the sort of part because I really had to make my own. Sheesh!


Anonymous said...

I was just thinking as I read, what a good idea it would be to get a commemorative trophy or plaque made... Cuppa is so clever!
This was a lovely memory to share and to keep. :o)

Ruth said...

I hope you don't play chess with the computer. I tried to learn the game and bought a beautiful set in Mexico. But I never really caught on to the game strategy.

Ginnie said...

Well, I'm impressed. Chess was my husbands game and he loved to teach the boys when they were very young. One of them still plays (at age 49) and even carries on a chess match with a man in prison by mail.
It is an awesome game to play well so I congratulate you on your trophy...however it was made.

Janet said...

That was a lovely thought on Cuppa's part.
I learned how to play chess in first grade from my best friend's grandmother, who only spoke German. When I changed schools in 5th grade I lost touch with Christine, and no one else knew how to play, so I pretty much forgot everything I knew.

mreddie said...

I'm not even good at checkers. The only trophies on my shelves is one for being the "Best all round choir member" in 1968 and another tiny one that is for the "world's greatest mother" but I think this latter belongs to the Spice. ec