Friday, November 14, 2008

Chess Work and Play

Being sequestered in a war room for long days at work this week, in what's called a software CRP (Conference Room Pilot), is one of the most mentally and physically grueling experiences that us IT guys get to enjoy in our profession every now and again. It causes delirium.

I'm allowed only fleeting moments of contemplation of non-work, at which time I get to dream about enjoyable things - like the joy it would be to play chess for a living.

For most of us chess is an avocation, not our vocation. Yet one thing I learned about life is that marvelous things in our fantasy world appear smaller in the rear view mirror of reality.

I played high school varsity tennis with a player named Wayne Anderson, who was way more gifted than the rest of us. Wayne was groomed by his dad from about five years old to become a great tennis player. The rest of us schlepped around the tennis court; we were there having a good old bumbling time, to the consternation of our beloved coach Bill Willoughby. But Wayne was always serious, always focused, always excellent. One day at practice while warming up Wayne missed an easy volley and got so angry at himself, causing me to realized that Wayne didn't enjoy tennis at all; it was serious work to him being his meal ticket. Wayne did get a college scholarship and became a tennis pro, but he never enjoyed tennis the way we did.

I wonder if the chess pros feel that chess is work and dream about the unplayed poker hands, unread science fiction books, millions made by people way dumber than themselves? Inventor of the next Sham Wow as seen on TV?

Since we are dreaming: I would like to spend summers being the first 56 year old shortstop for the Boston Red Sox; executing a 6-4-3 double play; Griffin to Pedroia to Christiansen to win the World Series against the Cubs.

What are your feelings about the grass being greener on the fantasy side?

Please Comment

Mike Griffin


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