I like to play a lot of strategy games. Strategy board games (like chess which I’ve commented on frequently) and strategy video games (like Civilization, Empire at War, and Age of Mythology). I do a lot of correspondence games of chess in my free time. The director of student rights and responsibilities at my school even observed that this is why I spend a lot of time on the internet. Most of my correspondence games have been thriller and have been well-played regardless of a win or loss. However, recently, I’ve been losing a lot of chess recently. Uncharacteristic mistakes of mine of course it’s difficult to tell if you’ve become familiar with my playing style which includes knight sacrifices, bishop sacrifices, etc. In fact, most of my correspondence games could appropriately be considered immortal games such as the immortal queen correspondence game I played with my uncle recently.
However, the recent loss of my cousin has simply disoriented me beyond all repair. I’m kind of not letting my own parents know about how difficult it’s been for me and maybe that is a mistake. Perhaps I should talk about dealing with grief with my next counselor. It’s difficult for me being in such a mental state I am to hear that someone so close to me has died. Just looking at a photo of him in the kitchen and knowing he is gone. All my own friend can do write now when I lament about his loss is send sad faces back to me via text (the sad faces are meant to express sympathy).
I’ve noticed that my grief has actually taken a shift. It seemed like so long ago I had seen him at a family reunion and was just inspired by him. He had discipline. Whether he learned that from the military or took that to the military with him, I know not which but I theorize (and am 200% certain here I am right) that his military buddies learned discipline from him, not the other way around. I just remember him as a lively, remarkable, and inspirational young man you would be lucky to have around you.
With this loss, come my other losses. It’s not so much that I’m a “win or die” kind of guy but I’ve just noticed lately that my chess games are taking a turn for the worst. I miss pawns coming out and end up moving my queen onto a diagonal thinking she’ll be safe there. I know my chess quite well and I know positional sacrifices involving giving up queens and have even performed a sham sacrifice of my queen in a recent game for a quick checkmate but such sloppiness is just a sign that the grief has admittedly become too much for me to handle. Nick was such a fun person to be around and could also teach you a thing or too. As such, I’ve noticed that such emotions have greatly impacted my games. It’s not that I suck at chess. I’ve been able to see things that some of my opponents have not been able to. One such game recently was an over-the-board game and I had been able to move my bishop out to g5 attacking his queen knowing that after the move, the queen would be lost. It was my first time playing the Indian omega gambit and it started off disastrous until that move in which things quickly turned in my favor and he resigned at move 23.
But the loss of my cousin Nick and the realization that he is dead has just proved too much to handle for my own emotional state. It’s been distracting me. I have sharp, though vague memories of him. I felt closer to him surprisingly than all of my other cousins. Maybe it’s the personality. Though I would never sign myself up to the military as he did, I don’t think it was the military that made him the man he was. I think it was just his personality. A bit isolated (as I am–otherwise, I’d call you up to McDonald’s and we’d share a burger as I made double-bishop sacrifices on your castled king), but just a loving, caring, disciplined man. And I think that is the way he would want to be remembered. Since he did encourage me to start running, I find it appropriate to always try to do a victory lap for him.