Check mate

August 9, 2020

I couldn’t remember when I last played chess. Also I couldn’t find a reason to explain why I stopped playing in the first place. Coming from a chess champion’s family, there’s something complacent about the game’s absence in my life.

My brother used to play every night when he was very young. I have this clear memory of sometimes reaching him at the sports club and seeing a bunch of like-minded teenagers focused on the opponent’s next move.

The funniest thing is that my brother was way too far from being a nerd or anything like that. He was a rebel, in fact, known for misbehaving at school, frequently giving my parents a hard time. So, playing chess had something of "contradicting the stereotypes" although it could make total sense as he’s always been very intelligent.

From all the old-beloved items I kept safe throughout a lot of moves between houses and countries, the chessboard couldn’t be left out. Which brought me back to yesterday when I pulled the family’s heritage out of my drawer and proposed a funny challenging afternoon to my husband.

It was pure nostalgia! After two long moves, I video-called my brother and this took us back to a tender memory of him and our father playing together for years. Playing chess - just like driving, biking, packing, folding suits, travelling, learning to enjoy languages - were some of the pivotal activities that my Dad taught me.

What a beautiful legacy you left for me, Dad!


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