May 28, 2009. Dragon Boat Festival, Chess.

Naked Zongzi
Naked Zongzi

Today is the Dragon Boat Festival. It is a holiday for the government and for schools. In my neighborhood everything was open as usual. I couldn’t tell it was a big national holiday except there were no school kids running around in their uniforms. I could not tell there was a holiday. There was nothing going on in Shenzhen that I found out about.

The weather was great again today. It was sunny and quite mild with low humidity. I came straight home after work. I didn’t stop at the library. I picked up a couple of zongzi and some apples for dinner. I ate early and didn’t go to the park. Why?

Today a colleague mentioned a chess “club” that meets irregularly in Shenzhen. I put “club” in parentheses because it is more of an informal group that gets together at different times at different places. There is a website called ShenzhenStuff where notices of the meetings are posted.

I was aware of the website a long time ago, but it was infected with so many viruses that my computer wouldn’t let me open it. I guess they cleaned it up. Anyway, there was a meeting tonight

at a cafe close to CoCo Park. My friend was going, so I decided to go too.

After work I went straight home and played a few practice games on my computer. I have hardly played at all since college. I was able to beat the computer on the lowest level as long as I didn’t make a dumb move. I played 4 quick games, winning three and resigning from one when I made a blunder and gave away a rook.

The club met at 20:00. The notice on the internet asked that anyone who had a board should bring it. I hadn’t really considered it before, but the advent of online chess is making traditional boards obsolete. And chess players do not want to use tiny little travel size boards. They want standard size boards with traditionally designed pieces. No Star Trek pieces allowed. I, of course, don’t have a board of any kind.

I arrived at the cafe about 20:00. There were maybe 4 or 5 others there. Everyone seemed to know each other. The ringleader was named Miro or Milo or Miko. He had an accent I did not recognize, but spoke nearly perfect

English. He was the one who put up the meeting notices on the internet. I assume he made arrangements for the room in the cafe too. Everyone was very friendly. We went to a back room in the cafe that was reserved for us. I think I was the only one who did not smoke.

A few other players drifted in. There were about 10 people all together. They were all men. Thinking back to my college days, I don’t remember any women players. Women’s brains must not be wired for chess.

More than half the people brought boards, so everyone could play. Mako (?) was clearly the best player in the group. He obviously was a student of the game, not just a once a month, casual player. I played two games against the same guy and lost both. But I did not loose badly, and I did not do anything stupid. I’m just a bit rusty. I vowed to play at least one game a day until the next meeting.

About 23:00 the meeting broke up. I went with my colleague and Marko(?) to the bar and had a couple of beers. The rest of

the group hung around in the cafe. They mostly talked about soccer, local music, and where to get good western food and entertainment. I was mostly silent, having neither interest nor knowledge of the subjects. Around 24:00 we all went home.

About Charles Kirtley

Have been living in SE Asia and China since 2007. I have an opinion on most every subject, and don't mind sharing them. Lover and collector of worthless facts.
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1 Response to May 28, 2009. Dragon Boat Festival, Chess.

  1. Pingback: May-28-2009-Dragon-Boat-Festival-Chess : Sysmaya

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