Chess Lessons Everywhere

When I watched The Queen’s Gambit show on Netflix last year that’s when I decided.  For years I’d wanted to understand and then play Chess.  Where to start?  Who to ask? How to learn?

Snowy my husband plays and I knew he wasn’t going to be my best teacher.  Too fast, too impatient and not a natural born teacher.  (He’s good at many things but not at teaching a beginner.)

Then I saw it.  Advertised at our Club “Beginners’ Chess Classes“.  All on Zoom, all over 6 weeks, only 6 people per class.  Beginners.  I signed up.

Well .  Talk about mis-description.  4 of the 6 of us had all played before, some still playing and just wanting to improve.  Me?  I didn’t even know where the pieces went, what they were and which way was up…

Here’s the thing though.  For 2 hours I laboured my way through with Phil, our Teacher occasionally asking “So Kay, what would you do now?”  “Errr.  Ask for help?” or “No idea Phil, as you know I’m a complete beginner“.

It went from bad to worse.  After the first hour we had a 10 minute break after which, Phil said “We’ll come back for a 7 minute tournament.”  What?  A tournament? You’re kidding me!

Part of me wanted to run for the hills and not return.  Not my style  however tempting it was.  So, I took part in the tournament – I may as well have been blindfolded for all the strategy I was able to deploy!

When it finished I had a large glass of Chablis and said to Snowy “No way was that a Beginners’ class but I’m going to keep going just not with that class“.  I negotiated a refund as the Club knew it had mismatched us.

Having laughed a lot about the experience with various friends, my 23 year old nephew Fraser is now teaching me to play Chess.  

We meet on Zoom, we open the Lichess App << I really recommend this if you want to learn too >> and I’m actually slowly getting the hang of things and really enjoying hanging out in this way with Fraser AND I’m helping him up his game too by explaining things to me..

It’s easy to walk away or be discouraged or defeated when things don’t go as planned or you feel silly, embarrassed or all of these but – that’s the point.  “How much do you really want it?” is the test.  The point.  The move you decide to make.

If you want to learn, do, experience, change something enough then you use crappy experiences to spur you on!

It is, as I say “always your move” and that – after all – is what Chess teaches you  – strategy around the moves you make, the move others make and the longer-term effects of them.  There’s a lot to learn!

I was interviewed on TV on TickerNEWS! in Australia this week.  That was also a learning curve!  The tech pixies played nicely with us and my 10 minute segment seemed to go well.

I was talking about using technology in business in this last year and how to make it as effective and engaging as possible.  I’ve learned a few things hosting Events, 2-Day Retreats, Client VIP Days, Speaking engagements all on Zoom.  

And finally – another couple of Incoming Cute Douglas Puppyhound Pics.  He seems to grow in front of our eyes!

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