I get an e-mail from Daniel
“On Monday we have Winchester's B team playing us and so you'll have to be on your best behavior and KEEP QUIET!”
'Silence' is a lovely word. It's first syllable practically oozes sensuality while its second syllable wafts away like a silken scarf caught by a gentle breeze.
Say it with me.
Say it out loud. That's what I do with all the words in my head.
Chess. Game of silence.
I met Daniel at the door.
I try and communicate with Daniel about the need for a picture or two. I try sign language. And eventually we have to use words. He asks the rest of the club.
“Guy's can we just have....”
So I motion to Dan that I want to play a match. He sets up the board. As we sit down I go through the rules in my head and watch Dan. He moves a pawn. I pause, then do the same. Then he moves something else. So do I.
I have no real idea how to win. Every so often Dan takes on of my pieces and then finally after about 7 minutes (bear in mind I was leaving some pretty decent pauses).
I really want to congratulate Dan on a good game but I don't know how to. In fact it's beginning to get to me that I haven't said a single word for nearly 15 minutes. How do these people cope?
Anyway I could go home at this point but it doesn't really feel like I've properly ticked them after only quarter of an hour so there is nothing for it. I'm going to have to play Dan again. I catch his eye with a sort of a smile. I'm not sure that says “Please play me again”. So I twin that expression with a sweeping motion of my hand in the direction of the board. I consider this for a moment and then realize that I'm probably saying “Wow. What a fabulous board you've got there!” So I adopt a more serious look, with a hint of challenge and while looking him in the face. This just looks like I'm coming on to him. In the end I settle for just setting up my side of the board.
Dan shrugs and looks at me like “Oh! You want to be beaten again.” and sets up his side. He pauses to rearrange my pieces in the right order and we play again.
I try to use the pauses between my goes to actually think, but it's hard.
It's Dan's go and he is taking ages. I glance round the room. Everyone else is busy playing.
I look back at Dan. He still hasn't moved. Time passes some more. Dan still hasn't moved. What's taking him so long? I want to ask him if there is something wrong but of course I can't. 10 minutes passes then 15. I look worried. Dan still hasn't moved. Then he leans forward. He is clearly about to speak. He whispers “Your move!”
8 minutes latter and I am shaking the hand of the winner.
Dan whispers something else.
“Knowing how to play is not the same as knowing how to win. Think 4 moves ahead.”
We play one more game. I try to think 4 moves ahead but to be honest I just don't have the motivation. I think I manage about 2 and a half moves. I give Dan a bit of a run for him money. I take his queen and at one point he is one move away from me check mating him. Sadly he spots this. Obviously he wins.
Chess is an ancient art of strategy and clear thinking. Studies have shown if you play chess you think more clearly in other situations. So if you want that, pop along to the Students Union Building on Monday Night.
Me? Well if have to stay that quiet again I'm going to commit an act of violence!
Chess Club: Knight to Queens Pawn, Tick.
Church of England Chaplain University of Southampton Chess The Big Tick Southampton University University Soton Uni Silence