When I was young, I used to play a lot of indoor and outdoor games. Like other kids, I won some of them, lost many. But there was one game in which I was very very difficult to beat – Chess.
They rightly called it the ‘Mind-game’. There are two ways of winning in Chess – One is the check-mate and the other is a Draw (Where both of you are winners).
But I used a third method – The strategy of timing out the opponent! You cannot use this method at official competitions because there is a stop-clock, but for the chess we play in our house, there are no stop-clocks 😉 !
For example, in one game which I played with my uncle (a distant relative) I used the following strategy: I get white coins and I have to make the first move. For fifteen minutes, I keep thinking what to do, and move the pawn in front of the King a couple of boxes forward. (This, by the way, is one of the most common moves to start the game).
“What the hell? Why did you think for fifteen minutes to make this move?”
“I was not sure to move it forward by one box or two boxes – that’s why!”
He gets a small glimpse of what is about to come. But still (in his ignorance), he would think for two minutes and move the coin in front of his King a couple of boxes forward as well.
Now the ball (move) in in my court. I would get back to deep thinking. After fifteen minutes, he would shout, ‘Play………”. Then I respond back, ‘Wait, I am thinking of the opening strategy’.
Unable to do much, he gets back to his cocoon. After another fifteen minutes, you look at his face – Its generally red hot by that time. So, to cool him down a little bit – you make the next move – The pawn before the bishop goes forward by one box, to defend the earlier soldier whom you moved forward by two boxes!
This is another of those commonest moves that happens in (almost) all the games.
“You thought for so much time for making this move? I can’t believe it!”
“I was thinking if I should follow an offensive strategy by bringing in the horse, or a defensive strategy by defending the pawn”
“Nonsense”. He anyways makes his next move – some other pawn is moved forward. Now I was required to make mine – Its such a crucial move, as an ‘important’ power (horse) was going to get exposed to the battle field. So, I go back to thinking for half an hour more. After making sure that the opponents face is red hot again, I make my next move.
“There are only two horses and a total of four possible moves. To decide on one of them, you took half an hour?” – He screams on the top of his voice.
“The time was taken not for this move alone – it was required to think about a comprehensive strategy for the moves I am going to make after this, with the Horse”
He shakes his head in disbelief and makes his move – he too brings the horse forward. At that time, some one switches on the TV. And fortunately, I was sitting facing the TV and he was sitting opposite to the TV. So, for the next half an hour, while he contemplates what all possible ‘attacks’ I would carry out with the Horse, I keep watching the TV program.
After about half an hour, he suddenly realizes it! He shouts, “Someone – switch off the TV, and you better concentrate on the game”.
At this point, while he is red hot and about to burst like an overheated pressure cooker, I make my signature move – Get back the horse to its initial position.
By this time we get a couple of audience members also watching the game (who will be useful as witnesses later), and all the three of them are speechless! The uncle becomes violent, swings his hands on the chess board and pushes some of the coins out.
“I will never play with you again. You !@#$%^&&*(*()())(*&&^^%$$##@!”
I just coolly walk out of that place and announce to everyone that I won against Uncle in Chess – Yaaaayyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!! Technically, if the opponent deliberately spoils the game, you win right? 😀 😀 😀
Timing out, is sometimes more powerful than Check-mate, as you have seen 🙂
This series ‘My Autobiography‘ is a part of my marketing efforts to sell my Auto-biography which I am going to write after 31 years (When I am 60 years old). It will come out in the name of Destination Infinity – So, please buy it when it comes out 🙂