New York Ephemera - A transplant New Yorker writes about the city. Usually.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
The Marshall Chess Club
I've long wondered if I'm going to suffer early Alzheimer's. I seem to have the selective memory that one has when they shut down their brain for lengthy chunks of life. And so it was that I became very surprised when a Facebook Friend and old schoolmate Jesse Kraai informed me that we had not actually been on the Capshaw Jr. High Chess Team in Santa Fe together, but that I had instead joined my nerdy friends at lunchtime in some sequestered room just to play the odd game. How could that be? In the Myth of Myself, I was on a chess team when I was in Junior High School, and would serve out my duty there on days that I wasn't required to report to my other important post as Secretary of the Student Council, having lost the President post to Jennifer Tomatitch, aka, Jennifer Ton of Tits. Jesse never said goodbye to chess, and has admirably made his way to Grand Master. On the day I set forth to see him play at a tournament late this June, held at the Marshall Chess Club on West 10th Street against his Estonian nemesis, I brought my six year old son, a budding chess enthusiast in his own right. Before setting into the hallowed ground where "The Game of the Century" was played in 1956 between Donald Byrne and Bobby Fischer, I gave him many previews of "You must be quiet; This is a big boy chess club; They're playing very important games that are being watched around the world", etc. The time we could stay and watch was approximately one and a half minutes, and that doesn't include a split second of Jesse's game. Despite the fact that it was, for the most part, just men sitting across from one another playing in silence, it proved too exciting to be a child witness. We weren't asked to make an exit, but rather a lovely portly man with a Russian accent was kind enough to set us up on their quiet garden patio at a table with a board and pieces. Jamie beat me, and off we were onto the street, blinking our way back into reality.