Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Anjali - One More Game of Chess

So we decided to play a game of chess after dinner last night. I asked her before we sat down 'will you get upset if you lose?'. She does not take losing easily. She laughed and said I lost so many games to you, why will I feel bad. I told her that I know it hurts to lose and I feel bad when I lose too. Anyway we started playing.

She had got better at the game and was more watchful and making less mistakes than she did earlier. But I won the first game. The pain was evident even if it was fleeting on her face. Another game? she asked. I know it happens in chess - we want to play another game to get back. One can empathise with Yudhishtra.

Ok, I said. We played and she lost again. Again that fleeting pain across her face. Again, she asked. Ok, I said. We played and she lost again. This time the pain was less on her face. It was time for bed almost.

'Again?' she asked. Sure, let's play. This time I got an early advantage and decimated her ruthlessly. It was over very quick. My reaction normally would be to give up at this stage and mope over the result - something which I did many times in my life and still continue to do. But Anjali was not me and I hoped she did not pick that from me.

Another one? Ok, I said. Once again she lost. Now, it was getting a bit too late and she had every reason to give up and go back feeling lousy. But she pushed her luck despite calls from her mother to go to bed. This game she was far more involved than ever before, spotting my causal mistakes quicker, making careful moves so she did not lose any powers, and within minutes I had lost my minister, rook, bishops, knights and was cornered.


It ended on a high for her. Something which I realised was important. Can't end a session in the pits. 'I lost three games to Nanna but I beat him finally,' she told Shobhs. I am so glad you did. It's an attitude that will fetch you good returns - you only lose when you quit.

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