Chess Success, Chess Mess: Girl Power or Beginner’s Luck

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Chess Mess

The gears on Louis' ring and in his head are turning as he tries to think of an escape.
The gears on Louis' ring and in his head are turning as he tries to think of an escape.


Chess Mess, by Louis Magnifico
On Thursday, May 21, 2011, Char and I visited a locally owned coffee bar in Midtown Memphis while waiting for friends to arrive at a nearby restaurant for dinner. We ordered drinks and sat down at a table which had a large chess board on it. I had learned how to play chess earlier this year and have played a handful of games so far. By no means would I have called myself an “experienced player” – not by a long shot – but I will say that the game came very naturally to me and I think I knew more about the game than the average bear who has only been playing as short a time as I had.

While sipping our drinks, Char asked me to teach her how to play the game. I showed her around the board, how the pieces were set up, and how each piece moved. Just the basics – enough to get started. Which we did…

We played for about 45 minutes and she was actually very good – especially for her first time out! I had to remind her a few times how each piece moved as we played the game (that’s typical for a newcomer… I had the same questions when I first started).   I was about to plan a strike toward her King and was in the midst of coming up with my strategy when it was time to meet our friends for dinner a few doors down. We left for an enjoyable meal then retreated to our home… where we pulled out our own chess set.

After setting up the pieces, we began again. Throughout the match, I continued to train Char on the movement of the pieces and basic game protocol.  After about an hour of game play, I realized my King was in danger.  I tried to plan an escape but it was too late.

I must ascribe one of three things to what happened:

1) My abilities as a chess teacher were so good that I basically defeated myself, having instructed her wisely and with great acumen.  In which case…. I must be better than I thought!

2) Having to repeatedly instruct Char on the movement of each piece – and the lateness of the hour – led to my distracted and weary mindset which allowed Char to basically take advantage of me during this game.

3) An extreme case of Beginner’s Luck – and if this be the case, it will be revealed next time we play.

All in all, I can say… Char and I have discovered another great pastime!  The game is more fun than we imagined it would be and I look forward to many more matches in our future!  The best part… playing with my best friend and bride!

Chess Success

Char wins her first Chess match... against her trainer!
Char wins her first Chess match... against her trainer!


Chess Success, by Char Magnifico
After a quick meeting in the Cooper-Young area of Memphis with a local cookbook author, I had my groom meet me for a stroll, a kiss or two (or three) and dinner with new friends. Just before dinner, Louis and I stumbled upon a quaint local coffee shop, Java Cabana. I knew this place was going to become a favorite of mine even before I stepped foot in the door.

The eclectic flair of Java Cabana is definitely my style! A fun place where you can order a coffee drink, read a book, work on your laptop, listen to music, or pull out one of the games they have available to their customers.

We sat down at a table that embraced a Chess set. I knew all too well that I had no idea how to play Chess and that I would most likely have to admit defeat in the end. But I was determined, as always, to do my very best to claim Victory.  After all, I own what I set out to do, right? If this made it to our website, I couldn’t disappoint my fans! My mission quickly became to whoop Louis in a game I had never played before and he had. I knew I could. I have confidence. I have Girl Power!

I must say, I seriously had no clue where to begin. I asked Louis many times the rules and names of each piece! He was a good sport about it. Never once did he become frustrated but I do believe he carried a sense of false confidence prematurely. Just sayin’.

Eventually, after grasping the strategy of the game rather quickly, I began calculating in my head how each move would affect me and Louis. I was oh-so-careful with every move I made. I would take my time, envisioning Louis’ next move and how it would impact each and every piece of my own. I quickly realized, this was my game. I love strategy and competition. I was determined to steal the game. I was going to be the winner. I was going to have my victory dance. Louis was going to have to admit defeat to me publicly yet again.

Our game was cut short so we could meet our friends for dinner. It was an even game; nobody was close to winning.  After dinner we drove home in great anticipation. We were set to play a game of Chess from start to finish. Louis claimed Victory ahead of time in the car. I simply laughed and knew he was going down! Nothing would stop me now.

Once again. I claimed Girl Power. I can happily report that I WHOOPED HIS CATOOKAS IN CHESS! My very first game, my very first win! Louis’ face was PRICELESS! His expressions were absolutely hilarious. Shock, amazement, shame… and I am stoked to have yet another fun game to enjoy with my best friend.

As is usual with us, our camera was nearby as we played.  Enjoy the photo gallery of our first Chess game (you’ll see pics of the unfinished match at the coffee bar as well as our full first match at home).  And here, of course, is a short video of the experience as well.  Enjoy!  And remember… life is more fun when you take time to have fun!  Yes, we have a firm grasp of the obvious!

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4 thoughts on “Chess Success, Chess Mess: Girl Power or Beginner’s Luck

  • May 2, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Way to show him who’s boss, Char! 🙂 My guess is Louis got hit with both Beginner’s Luck AND Girl Power! You doing ok, Louis? LOL

  • May 3, 2011 at 8:57 am

    Char, always nice to see women playing and enjoying chess! It has had a reputation of being a “man’s game” for so long and it’s great to see you enjoying and winning the game! I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of this before but after reading this article, I had to send an idea your way. You two should spend A Day in the Life of a Chess Master, each of you learn from a ranked chess professional, and then stage a match against each other. There are chess organizations in every city that can help you locate the right people to set this up. Not all of them will appreciate your show or your humor but you’ll surely find some that will. Congratulations on beating your husband on your first game!

  • May 3, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Thanks, Heather! I really enjoyed it! Especially enjoyed being able to do my *Char-Victory-Jiggy-Dance* in celebration! LOL

    I like your idea a LOT! Hmmmmmmm, we just might do this. Keep your ideas coming! We LOVE it when we get new ideas from our fans!

  • May 3, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Way to go, Char!!!! Love it!

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