patzer: (p t s r, pät -)
a poor or amateurish chess player [probably from the German, bungler,
from patzen, to bungle]
I love chess. Really, I do. Unfortunately my ability does not
match my love. Having resigned myself to the dregs of the rating
chart, I spend my time just doing the best I can and enjoying
every game I have the privilege of playing.
learned to play at the age of 5 during the Fischer vs. Spassky
match (Yeah, who didnt?) My dad was a decent player, had
a natural flair for tactics and genuinely loved the game. Mom,
too, enjoyed it now and then, but was no aficionado. We played
on a set composed of a 3 foot checkered rug and sand-weighted
pieces with 8 inch kings.
Throughout my youth I dabbled in chess, even joining the chess
club in 6th grade. Being scatter-brained as I was back then, I
forgot about the second meeting, took a forfeit on the ladder
and gave it up. There were too many cute girls on the playground
to be spending lunch inside anyway.
Throughout the rest of my growing-up and young-adult years chess
was on the periphery of my life, an occasional friendly game that
I seemed to frequently win, but not much more. I still didnt
even know there were such things as tactics, openings, endgames,
In 1993 My brother Jason took me to
the Del Mar theatre in Santa Cruz to see Searching
for Bobby Fischer. I have to admit my blood ran hot
watching them play and slap that clock. I was enthralled, yet
a little shy of competition. Jason dogged me into a game, which
I won. The next weekend we played again, and he won.
Well, this was like giving an 8-ball to a heroin addict. I had
to know more. I ran down to Logos bookstore in Santa Cruz and
bought Chess for Beginners by Fred Reinfeld for $.60.
I taught myself Descriptive Notation and worked through the book
carefully over the next couple days. When we met that weekend,
I cleaned his clock. So I gave him the book, and the next weekend
he cleaned my clock.
It was all downhill from there
Patzer's Progress Anthony Toohey
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