Checkmate: Luka teaches me a lesson

I returned to the table, only to be schooled by a 12-year-old.

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  • | 10:09 a.m. December 15, 2015
Jeff Dawsey and Luka Tristam. Photo by Pierre Tristam
Jeff Dawsey and Luka Tristam. Photo by Pierre Tristam
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In the last few months, I’ve fallen in love with chess again. I’ve probably played more games online in the last few months than I’ve played my entire life, and my uncle, Theodis Dawsey, taught me at 6 six years old.

He has won more chess championships than I care to know, and he still faithfully plays all day, every day. I’ve never beaten him (not even close), but I never studied the game nor played on a consistent basis.

I’m pretty sure my uncle would love to hear that I’ve taken the game back up, but he’d probably be disappointed to hear how a 12-year-old destroyed me, twice. Pierre Tristam’s ( son, Luka, and I played four games on Sunday, which was the first time I played live chess in over 10 years. It showed. In the first game, I beat him in less than 10 moves. He, his dad and I were surprised. Honestly, I didn’t know what I was doing. He actually had to let me know that I mated him.

In the second match, I didn’t stand a chance. While the match lasted longer than the first, it was never close.

My opening in the third game was brutal. He snatched up most of my pieces so fast, I thought some of them had just fallen off the board. I was able to recover and get the win, after taking his queen.

Then, he took his game clock out of the bag for the fourth and final match. Let’s just say he took me behind the woodshed in that one. It didn’t last for two minutes. I can still see his big eyes and his deceptive smile stare up at me, as I look at him snatch my pieces off the board

It was a pleasure to play with Luka, who’s looking to make chess a career. He’s been playing for six years, mostly self-taught, and he has a consistent opponent in his dad, whom he has begun to beat in the last few years. I’m looking forward to playing with him some more, getting my revenge, but I’m also anticipating to see what he does with the game.

Luka is so much better at 12 years than I was. I’m glad I got to play him at 29. If we would’ve met at the same age, he would’ve really embarrassed me.



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