When I got up this morning I didn’t have anything to do. The weather was not as good as yesterday. It is cloudy, cool with some light rain. I was thinking that I could get a bunch of my friends together to play handball today. But if it keeps raining I don’t think the guys would want play handball. Anyway, I went down stairs to see if anyone was around. As I left the building I hear banging noise coming from the back yard. I walk to the back of the building and I see Roger nailing together a bunch of wood and it looks to me that he is finally making the wagon he promised his little sister Diane. He didn’t notice me at first so I called out to him. “Hey Roger, are you putting together the wagon for your sister Diane?” He looked up at me with a hammer in his hand. “Yeah, I want to finish this project once and for all.” I say “wow, it looks like you have the platform ready to assemble the old carriage wheels you found.”
He started to laugh and said. “Well, it turned out to be a hell of lot more work than I bargained for. No matter, I will not disappoint my little sister.” He looked down and kept on banging away. Even though he we busy putting this wagon together I kept on talking to him. I started chatting away about riding my bike in the school yard with Joanie yesterday. I told him all about the motor cycle sound coming from her new bike and how her father attached a playing card and balloon to her back wheel to make the motor sound. I told him about the “Haunted House, Hide and Go-Seek” game we played in a disgusting, smelly, condemned house at the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel construction site. Then I mentioned that we went to see the new Ali Baba movie.
I was going on and on when he looked up again, his hair is all wet from the rain, water dripping down his face, he pointed the hammer at me, and yelled. “WILL YOU SHUT UP ALREADY? I can’t concentrate on making this wagon and listen to you babbling all your crap. I just don’t give a shit. You hear ME!” “Ok, ok, ok, don’t get your balls in an up roar. I’ll be quiet while you finish your stupid wagon.” Then, I just sat near him with my arms folded and I didn’t say another word. Roger finished putting the carriage wheels on the platform, he went on to put a little seat on the back of the platform that will hold his sister’s butt in place.
He tied a rope on each side of the front wheels so his sister could steer the wagon left or right. With all his bitching and moaning the damn wagon looked pretty good. For a summer day, with the clouds and rain it was actually getting cold. Roger sister Diane and two of her friends came running from around the corner straight at us. They were dressed with coats. Wow, I didn’t think it was that cold. She called out, “Roger, Roger did you finish my new wagon?” Roger smiled and with a happy voice he said. “Come on Diane it’s time to give your wagon a test run. Sit Here, your little friends have to push you, okay, grab the rope and pull it from side to side when you want to turn your wagon.” Diane got on the wagon in a flash. The two little girls with her got behind the wagon and started pushing her.
Wow, that wagon can really move, before you know it they were racing up and down the sidewalk. With one quick pull on the rope, Diane turned the wagon into the street and Roger just went nuts. He ran like a Bat out of hell, while he was screaming and yelling at her to “stop” he chased after her as fast as he could. He finally caught up to her and made her get back onto the side walk. He walked back to where I was standing and said. “Come on, let’s get out of here. Follow me upstairs, I have to get out of these wet clothes. I want to show you what I learned about playing the Chess game my uncle gave me. It’s a lot more complicated than playing checkers.” So, I followed Roger into our building and I stopped at my apartment to get out of my wet clothes too.
I put on some dry clothes and ran up to Roger’s apartment. He was still getting dressed so I went back to his room to push him along. Roger saw me and said. “What’s your hurry? You must be really interested in learning how to play Chess.” “I’m not that interested in the game but I would like to know more about the pieces that your uncle Sammie gave you. I’ve never seen anything like them before.” We sat down at Roger’s little table in his room and he put the Chess board and Chess pieces on it. He said, “It’s not like playing checkers. The board may look the same but the pieces can move in different directions based on who they are.”
Roger held up each piece and said, “The Pawn is this little guy who is basically a foot soldier. The soldier can only move one square at a time forward on his first move. After that the soldier can capture any enemy piece on a diagonal square. This guy is called the Bishop. He has a pointy hat and he can move any number of squares diagonally anywhere on the board to block or capture the enemy. This is the Knight. You can tell it’s a Knight because it looks like a horse. This piece moves in an L=shape one square and two over or two squares and one over like this. The Knight can also jump over the other pieces on the board to capture the enemy or to a blank square.
The Rook, which looks like a Castle can move any number of squares, up or down or side to side on the board but it can’t move on a diagonal like the Bishop. The Queen can move like the Bishop and Rook piece anywhere on the board. The King can only move one square at a time anywhere on the board. Now that you know how these pieces can move and fight each other what do you think?” I said, “Wow, I’m so confused.” Roger then said to me “It’s really a simple game once you know how to make the pieces move around the board. You see the object of the game is to get to the King. If any of your pieces can trap the king and he cannot move out of your trap it’s called a Check Mate and you win the game. Each player has to do two things. Number one is to attack and try to trap the enemies King. Number two is to work up a defense plan to keep the enemy away from trapping your King. You see how simple it is?”
“Roger you’re out of your fregin mind if you think I can play this game like I can play checkers. It will take me forever and a day just to learn the moves. I will never be able to protect my king against an enemy attack.” Roger said “when my uncle Sammie gave me this game he told me that if I really learn how to play this game and think ahead of every move I make, playing Chess or in life, I will do well no matter what I decide to do. Because if you study and think ahead of time on how every move you make will affect the outcome you will make fewer mistakes. Then you have a better chance to protect your King and thats how you can win the game of life.” I wish I knew what the hell he is talking about. I left Roger more confused than ever. I don’t know if I’ll ever learn how to play this stupid Chess game.
To be continued……………………………….