I I gathered more than fifteen chess

I stared at the blackand white squares covered with kings, queens and pawns after two hours ofsilent contemplation. Courageous warriors, displaced in a heated encounter werestretched across the table. Across from the battlefield was a man who haddedicated his own life to a hard fought war, whose crucial decisions determinedvictory or defeat. I skimmed through the board one more time, searching for anescape, but my brave warriors were determined to stand their ground, refusingto be intimidated.

            I fell in love with the gameof chess when I was seven years old. My Asian grandfather offered to teach methe game when the heavy snow trapped us indoors for most of his two week visit.I accepted his offer to show courtesy, as I had seen plenty of others observingtheir chess sets for hours, and I had no interest in wasting my time withsomething I considered tedious. My interest, however, escalated from the momentwe began our first game. As an inexperienced player, I had no idea how to organizemy chess pieces, and I could only watch in admiration as my grandfather destroyedmy defenses and crushed me within fifteen moves. I repeatedly asked for arematch with a competitive attitude.

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My grandfather always accepted and overthe next few days, we must have played more than fifty games of chess. Aftereach game, my knowledge about chess slowly increased, but despite my best endeavors,I did not win a single game. Before returning to China, my grandfather injecteda powerful message in me with his inspirational words. “Give it everythingand you will be successful.”            Over the past ten years, Ihave tried to fulfill his goal. After my grandfather departed back to China, Istopped at a nearby chess shop and purchased a beginner’s chess manual thatoutlined the basic fundamentals of the game.

I spent countless of hours onlearning from the book through the next few nights. Later, I gathered more thanfifteen chess books  that were specificto many different aspects of the game including opening advances, middle gametactics, endgame strategies. I educated myself with all the information fromthe books with enjoyment. As my passion for the game increased, my appetite forthe game also increased. I joined numerous online chess servers and enterednumerous statewide and national chess tournaments.

I improved rapidly, learningfrom my mistakes after each game.              For me, chess is more than agame, it is a philosophy. From playing chess, I learned that persistence paysoff in the end. Victory at the chess board depends upon my skill at analyzingcomplicated positions for numerous hours a day; success in the real worldremains possible on my ability to plan ahead and think for the long term. By carefullyconsidering the consequences of every move I made, on and off of the board, itwould lead me to make better decisions in the future.

            I glanced back upat my opponent, then looked back at the board one more time. After a longpause, I offered my hand to my opponent with a smile and broke the silence. Weagreed to end the game in a draw because our positions were similar instrength. In life, you can’t always be victorious, but if you try your hardest,you can turn every endeavor you undertake into a success.


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