|Between Flights. My Father is center.|
My Father had been a tournament player when he was in the Army, and he had respect for me as a player, but he always said I relied too much on tactical play. I could beat most players with my ruthless application of combinations of forks and skewers. Use these tactics against lesser players and eventually they will make a mistake that costs them a piece and then two and then you just mop up. But a Strategic player will accept these attacks and just trade wood with you while they slowly develop their position and then just take you down in the end game. I had kept a book carefully noting each move in every game with my father. In the hundred pages or more you could see my progress as more and more games reached the magical 40+ move mark. But each page ended with white resigns, Dad always gave me the first move and my resignation had always been the last. He had given me his copy of "The Fireside book of Chess" "Study these games son and you will learn strategy; how these masters win by thinking one more move ahead than their opponent." We read the book together . We set the chess board and followed these the games, move by move, together.
When my father made a quick move to accept what was on its surface a piece for piece swap, the trap was sprung. When instead I took the bishop that "protected" my knight and moved it to attack the pawn in front of my Father's queen that was the target along the rooks soon to be open file. The room got very quiet. He lit his pipe. He folded his hands on the table with purpose as he moved the pieces in his mind. I could see it written in his face, the sixth move would be a choice. He could give up his queen or face check mate. He lifted his hand , picked up his king and laid it softly on the board. "Good Game Son" he said in a matter of fact way as he reached across the board to shake my hand. He lit his pipe again as I wrote in my notebook for the very first time. "Black Resigns". And then he started to laugh. And the laughter grew and was like thunder.