I should be good at chess. I’m a big picture guy with an eye for strategy. Problem solving is my wheelhouse. And when it comes to the serious, I play to win.
But for the life of me I cannot win a game.
It’s a wonder that I even manage getting second place.
Sure, I understand the rules. But my opponents knows the how and why of my moves even though I’m not sure myself.
I gave up playing actual people after my friendly matches grew tiresome. Nothing is more draining than feigning fate’s opposite. I can’t bring myself to burden friends and strangers like that.
Even still, the computer’s cold calculations have led me to an ironic realization.
I love this game.
Sure it’d be nice to join a park tourney or have a standing appointment with a pal. And I haven’t discounted the possibility of enjoying either.
But when you’ve lost as much as I have, I can’t help but think that this many defeats has to amount to a hefty down payment on victory.
I don’t enjoy getting beat, but if learning to lose is this positive, winning a game will be something special.
Richard Newton, PhD is curator of Sowing the Seed and Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Elizabethtown College. His scholarship focuses on the anthropology of scriptures.