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Mr. Takahashi, ... chess

Monday, December 28, 2020

As I said before Mr. Takahashi was my grade 10 math teacher. I was starting to play chess in grade 9 and by grade 10, I thought I was pretty good. I had played in some chess tournaments at the city chess club. I had an official chess rating, and I usually scored something like 8 losses and 2 wins in a tournament, ... but this was after all a real chess club, so I felt pretty good.

So I decided to challenge Mr. Takahashi to a game. He reluctantly agreed, saying that he wasn't very good. When setting up the board he put his bishops and knights in the wrong place. I told him the knights go next to the rooks. He asked if I was sure about that. Yes I was.

The game started, and I took some liberties in my attack, since he was obviously a weaker player. Suddenly he trapped and captured my queen, my most powerful piece. How did he see that? Soon it was all over and it was clear that he was a good player and I should have played in a more secure and less aggressive way.

I said "Mr. Takahashi, that wasn't fair, you did all those things, like setting up the pieces to trick me into thinking you were a weak player!" I remember his reply to this day, and it has guided me in life at times, he said "No, I didn't trick you, you tricked yourself."

Thank you Mr. Takahashi.
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