Everett Community College was holding a chess tournament. It was open to anybody, but it seemed that only the best chess players were there to compete. I just enjoyed playing the game, most often with my neighbor Michael who usually beat me, but for the fun of it I entered the tournament, fully expecting to lose early and then go do something else.
As it happened, my first opponent was a master. He didn't even need chess men on the board; he could remember everything, every move. I sat down to lose, but at least I might have some good conversation and enjoy a game, maybe make a friend. Not so with this fellow. He was serious, totally focused on the game, and when he soon learned that I was not a master, he was upset to be wasting his time with me.
About fifteen minutes into a difficult chess game, I saw something that surprised me. It was hard to believe. I stared at it for a bit, then moved a piece and said, "Checkmate." His jaw tightened, his eyes bugged out, his nose flared; then he shook his head in disbelief and began to throw a temper tantrum in front of everybody.
"It's because you don't know what you're doing!" he shouted, "You don't use any strategy! You just move! I couldn't figure you out!" I thanked him for the game and moved on to the next player, who whomped me, and soon I was out of the tournament. But I went home happy and feeling like a winner, for I had beat a chess master at his own game.
So don't be discouraged or let others intimidate you because of your inexperience or lack of knowledge or skill. It may be your weaknesses that help you succeed. Step out and take risks and take the world by surprise. It doesn't expect you, so you have the advantage. But most importantly, enjoy the game.
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