Monday, July 11, 2011

Ghetto Chess

I should have written this post months ago but then someone kept forgetting to upload the pictures no matter how many times I reminded him (you know who you are). :)

Fortunately, I had a very similar experience recently so I figured that it wouldn't be too late to blog about this extraordinary topic now. Better late than never, right? So what exactly is this "ghetto chess" that I'm talking about? See for yourself:

a chess board drawn on a table at school and the pieces are represented by coins - how creative!

the very enthusiastic friends in my math class who drew the chessboard on one of the desk. From left to right: Shreyash, Sathvik, Sabin and Ike

So the story goes like this: one day, my friends finished their math homework in class and had a sudden rush to play chess! There was no chessboard, no chess set, absolutely nothing in the classroom. So the guys came up with a brilliant idea - drawing a chessboard on a desk! We laughed so hard at the finished product, haha...However, our ghetto chessboard didn't last long. Our math teacher walked by 5 minutes later and made us erase not only that specific desk but also the surrounding ones that had writing on them. We had an amazing time erasing the desks nonetheless. :)

Perhaps it's a coincidence that another variation of "ghetto chess" came up in the last several days. Check it out:

multiple chessboards drawn on pieces of paper

my cool friends who challenged me to a blindfold game on a 5-hour bus ride. From left to right: Amon, Jane and Joyce

So as some of you may know, I am currently in Vancouver for an awesome summer program focused on sciences and entrepreneurship. During a 5-hour bus ride to the UBC Okanagan campus from the UBC main campus located in Vancouver, 3 of my fellow Shads (that's what we call ourselves) challenged me to a game of chess. Amon asked everyone, yes, literally everyone on the bus, whether they had a chess app on their ipod. Unfortunately, just like my math class, the supply of chess sets and apps is really scarce. :(

In the end, they decided to play me on the paper while I played blindfold. What's even worse is the fact that they did not have any pencils so they couldn't just draw a chessboard and erase the pieces each time I made a move - they had to cross out the pieces and redraw them each time. Just look at the 2 pictures above! :)

Regardless, the reason why I decided to blog about this topic today is because these 2 "ghetto chess" examples mirror the way in which the Canadian chess community functions. There are so many people out there who are enthusiastic about chess but do not have the resources to enjoy the benefits of this game. It's almost as if these chess players are in poverty because of the scarce resources available to them. Chess in the Library bridges the gap for these people.

Through these 2 groups of people (my math classmates and my fellow Shads), I have seen people who love chess and while the circumstances don't allow them to play, they still figure out a way to do so. That's the chess spirit I love seeing!

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