Has anyone ever wondered why the Queen can move wherever she wants in an effort to protect the King and the King can only move to one place at a time? I am definitely a novice chess player, however, I only just learned how to play this game while onboard the Oden. I have discovered that I really love playing chess. It is a game of mind tricks. It is a game of poker face. It is a game of patience. A game of strategy. Predicting the best moves of your opponent. “Do I sacrifice my knight for a queen, or my rook for my bishop?”
In the two weeks that I have learned how to play chess on the Oden (thanks to Samira for teaching me), I have won about five matches out of the 15+ games I have played. Each time I play, I learn a new strategy. In the time I have spent so far on The Oden, I have played chess with many of the crew members. So, I always have the Swedish and the American audience. However, it gets frustrating when the crew members are speaking in Swedish and I can’t tell if they are helping my opponent or not.
For example, one of the crew members I have often played with is Erik Petersson. He is an oiler on the Oden and works in the engine room. We have played chest against each other on four different occasions. The first time we played, he had help from two of his colleagues, and I had help from fellow NPP students, Samira and Melvin. This was the only time Erik won, because I don’t understand anything in Swedish, and his colleagues are better at the game than Samira, Melvin, and I combined.
In the following times I played with Erik, I won all the games. It’s always good to learn the other player’s weaknesses. Erik is easily distracted by side commentary. My weakness is being distracted by something funny because I always end up laughing and lose my train of thought.
It’s always interesting when your opponent makes an unexpected move. It makes you think: “Why did they do that? Now I have to come up with something new.” Sometimes you have to make a random move, such as move your pawn, if there isn’t a more tactical move to make.
Out of all the chess pieces, my favorite is the queen. She is the most important piece. Even more important than the King that you have to “check” every time.