Monday, 31 January 2005

Tea-Time Checkmates

My brains are scrambled now.

The Visitor and I just came back from tea where we played two mind boggling games of chess.

Yes, C-H-E-S-S.

Been ages since I played the game, but for the past week, we've been playing it during tea-time, ever since The Visitor bought a pseudo-glass chess set from a salesman for RM15. (The box says: Limited Edition Glass Chess Set, but it's actually made of plastic)

I used to play chess a lot. Actually, make that CHINESE chess. I preferred Chinese Chess to 'Western' chess because it's a lot less complicated, plus the board is a lot less cluttered.

With al due respect to both games, they DO tend to be quite similar. The Horses/Knights move the same way (although in Chinese chess, you can 'block' the horse), the Rooks/Tanks move the same way, and the pawns are pathetic one-steppers in both games.

However, there ARE a lot of differences too.

With chess, when there are still a lot of pieces on the board, things tend to get very messy. You miss things, like that Knight poised to 'eat' your Queen, or that bloody Rook being exposed because you moved a pawn. With Chinese chess, the spaces between the pieces are a lot wider, so it's easier to see what is gonna be eaten and what not.

Also, that 'Cannon' in Chinese chess that eats other pieces by jumping over another piece is mighty useful too.

In Chinese chess, the General/King is confined to his little palace which is little box in the bottom. He has two Elephants/Ministers to protect him, outside the box. The King has no Queen, but he has two bodyguards that are also confined to the room.

Makes you wonder what they do at night.

I used to play Chinese chess in school with my friends (sometimes even playing for money), and at kopitiams with Ah-Peks while drinking kopi-O (very hard to beat, those Ah-Peks).

I also used to play (and be trounced) by my grandfather, which is and will be one of my fondest memories of him.

Of chess, I used to play with this really 'garang' teacher of mine who was the advisor of the chess club. I would gang up with three other friends of mine and STILL get thrashed within 15 moves.

Sadly, I rarely touched a chess set (Chinese or otherwise) after I left for university. I DID play those PC games where the chess pieces were animated men, and would scratch their butts when they were left idle.

Anyway, I'm mighty relieved now, because I just finished most of my work (finally), and can now relax (and blog, of course). I can also play chess now. Yay! Now, I wonder who in the office can play Chinese chess ...

Oh, and BTW, and I beat The Visitor in both games. HAH!

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