Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Chess: Board games for smart people.

I have overcome my computer solitaire addiction by replacing it with a more complicated and painful addiction called computer chess. The chess board I have is a computer and you follow the readout and put the computer's pieces where it wants them to go. You push down on the space to activate it and register that you have acted as the computer's arms. It's like playing a very very smart and quiet handicapped person.
The computer has 73 skill levels. I started out playing against 15 and would lose in a maximum of 11 moves. It was an absolute slaughter. Many many times at night I would scratch my head and look at the boards and mumble, "You dirty motherfucker. You think you're so smart. Never any mistakes for you. So superior. Oh, one day..."

so I finally figured out about the level thing and I put it on level 1 and the computer would just randomly move the rook back and forth for no reason. I beat his ass all over the place. Then up to level 2. He was a little more strategic but I still won every game.
then to level 3. It took some work to win but I could do it and I felt so good when the screen said "I lose"
I'd celebrate with a little dance.
then to level 4 which is actually a perfect pairing. I have to play my absolute best to beat him. If I make one or two mistakes I lose. But once I won two or three times in a row (without using the 'take back' feature) I moved up to level 5.
Level 5 has me weeping like a little child. My blood pressure goes up when seemingly by magic EVERY SQUARE I WANT TO MOVE TO IS COVERED. That's the dirty trick. The computer won't put you in jeopardy every move, but it will work it so you can't move without a rain of terror falling on your head. So then I think, "I'll just move this innocent pawn. Nothing bad will happen then. There is no...wha? What the fuck. You moved THERE? Why? I'll just...wha??? No!!!! THERE'S NOTHING I CAN DO!
See, it's like after the first 5 opening move I am completely assaulted and attacked. I'm on the defense and nothing I can do stops the attack.
This last game I held on until I had a king and a pawn and he had a king and a knight and a pawn. I lost. That was as close as it got.
When I beat level 5 straight up it will be a miracle. Chess is such a weird thing because how do you get better? I can't get any smarter but there are so many options to choose from and the computer always pics the right one and I always pick the wrong one. How do I get better? Lately, I just mirror the moves the computer makes...and I still lose. I'll play again in a minute. I can't be afraid. Level 73 must be hard.


Of course, moments after I typed that I decided to give level 73 a try. And I must've channeled Bobby Fisher because about 50 minutes later I queened a pawn and cornered the king. I think the battery was weak so it wasn't thinking clearly but I still had to play phenomenal chess. The trick was to be aggressive and take the pieces that he ordinarily abuses me with. But take them strategically. I might have used the take back button once. That's a good game of chess. I wonder if this has a replay function so I can post my win on a chess forum. grandmasters would probably say, what the hell kind of strategy is this? It's the man in the van strategy. I verbally abused the computer and played it when the battery was low. The X factor wins again!



I beat level 5 too! The computer's ego has been bruised.
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.