There was a Meetup group which proposed that it’s members would show up on a certain night to talk about or share their favorite hobbies with the other members.
I hesitated in going and eventually decided not to go. Why?
A big reason is I tend to be a private person. But a bigger reason is that I don’t know how to really communicate a favorite hobby of mine.
You see, I have a non-typical hobby.
I don’t collect stamps or comic books. I don’t play video games. I am not a great cook. I make a terrible fisherman and even a worse magician.
So what is this great, non-typical hobby?
I like to play over chess games. From novices to masters, from blitz games to correspondence games, from wild gambits to positional masterpieces, from miniatures to long, drawn out, complicated queen endings, they are all fair game (pun intended) for my overly-inquisitive brain.
I like to analyze a game and find the hidden resources in both the attack or defence of a position. And when I find them, I get joyful with knowing something that the players didn’t know (at least at the time the game was played).
Sometimes I get very lucky and I can use these wonderful, awe-inspiring, eye-opening ideas in a game. But even if I don’t, I still retain the joy of finding them.
How can I share this joy? I don’t think I can. Except maybe at a chess club.
Here is one game that recently caught my attention.
It was a blitz game played earlier this year on the Internet. FICS is short for Free Internet Chess Server: one of the longest running chess web sites dedicated to play.
“LloydDobler” (1715)-“ditolla” (1867)
Three minute game
FICS, Jan. 12 2016
1.f4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bc4!? c6? (Black can certainly play 4…Qd4 to hold on to his extra pawn and threaten White’s bishop on c4. He can, if he wants to be safe, play 4…e6 as this move blocks White’s bishop and allows his queen to threaten on the kingside. Black eventually plays this move but never gets around to playing 4…Qd4. This results in him being forced to part with his extra pawn, and being underdeveloped in the process.) 5.Nge2 Bg4 6.h3 Bxe2 7.Qxe2 e6 8.Nxe4 Nbd7 9.d3 Bc5? 10.Nxc5 Nxc5 11.O-O O-O 12.f5 exf5 13.Rxf5 Nfd7 14.Bg5 Qb6?! (The queen turns out to be misplaced here.) 15.b3 Nxd3+ 16.Be3 N3c5 17.Rd1 Qa5 18.Rxd7 Qxa2 (18…Nxd7? 19.Rxa5) 19.Bxc5 Qa1+ 20.Kh2 Rae8 21.Qd2 [Black is in real trouble. After 21…Re1 (to free up his rooks), White would respond with 22.Bxf8 Kxf8 23.Qd6+ +-] 21…g6 22.Bxf8 gxf5
23.Bxf7+? [White missing 23.Qg5+Kh8 (not 23…Kxf8? 24.Rxf7#) 24.Rxf7! Qe5+ (heading for a draw) 25.Kh1 Qe1+ 26.Bf1!! Qxf1+ 27.Kh2! +-] 23…Kh8 24.Bxe8 Qe5+ 25.Kh1 Qxe8 26.Bg7+ Kg8 27.Rxb7 Qc8 28.Rxa7 h5 29.Qg5 Qe6 30.Bd4+ Kf8 31.Qf6+ Qxf6 32.Bxf6 c5 33.Kh2 Ke8 34.Kg3 h4+ 35.Kxh4 f4 36.Kg4 f3 37.Kxf3 c4 38.bxc4 Kf8 39.c5 Ke8 40.c6 Kf8 41.h4 Ke8 42.g4 Kf8 43.g5 Kg8 44.g6 Kf8 45.Ra8mate 1-0