One day, when I was in the 4th grade, our teacher announced that a chess tournament is going to take place in our school. At first, I was like ‘lol, only grinds play chess’, but than she said that this tournament will start during math class, so if we want to participate at it, we won’t be able to attend both the class and the competition.
I was the first one that raised my hand to let my teacher know that I was going to attend to that contest!
It started at 12 o’clock, and we were like 50 kids that were going to play. All I hopped in the beginning was not to lose too fast, so I won’t have to go back to that boring class.
After every match I won, I was happy because I knew that I gained a few more minutes. Funny thing how the time drains faster when we enjoy our self. Soon it was around 5 o’clock and we were only 4 more players. This made me realize that school was over 3 hours ago.
Seeing that I truly got a chance to get the 1st place, I started to want it really bad. I didn’t eat all day long, so I was a little bit dizzy and I was continuously sweating, because of the nervousness. But I had to focus! I tried to use all of my energy to think straight and clear.
At 6:30 I arrived home. I was extremely tired because I’ve never in my life used so much my brain… but I won! My parents were happy, of course my mom kissed me all over my face, even my brother didn’t call my names that day! It was the best day ever!
Soon, our teacher told us that another chess competition is going to take place at the City Hall, and those who got the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place have to participate.
I didn’t want to go because at first my purpose was not to play chess, it was just to skip a class, but my mom insisted… and you can not argue with your mom when you’re little and she has rubber slippers!
When I arrived there, I was pretty scared, because I saw more than a thousand people and I thought that I have to play with every one of them. Shortly I was told that there are different leagues and I will only have to play a few matches.
Surprisingly I managed to get the 2nd place. After I got my reward (a trophy and a diploma), a man came to me and asked me if I wanted to go at his club, to let him teach me the secrets of chess.
Of course I said no… and of course my mom said yes… so I went.
At first, I didn’t like it because at school I was called a grind. I became the person I was laughing at and I didn’t enjoy it. In a few months this changed. I had the benefit of skipping more classes to participate at tournaments, so I started to like it.
I played chess for almost 2 years. The thing that made me play no more is one of my flaws that I can not rectify.
The moment when I stopped playing chess was when I went to Romania’s national chess contest. It was just me, my teacher, a friend that I made at that club, a girl who’s 4-5 years younger than me, and her parents. We all stayed in a chalet.
The thing is that in the first night I couldn’t sleep. I thought that I was the only one awake so I wanted to go downstairs to drink a class of water, but right before I put me foot on the first stair, I heard my teacher talking to someone about how my friend got his place there because his parents bought it.
I went back to my room and I started to think that I don’t deserve to play at that tournament, because I thought that my parents bought my place too. I lost every single match. I didn’t care anymore about chess, all I was doing there was having fun with that friend. We met new people, put worms in that girl’s father’s shoes, and stuffs like that.
In the last day, when the competition was over, my teacher asked my what was the problem, why I couldn’t focus, and so I told him the truth. This made him laugh…
He told me that I got my ticket there fair, when I beat a guy who had more than twice experience than I had, and I actually stole his place.
Anyway, this didn’t change my feelings. I couldn’t stand chess anymore and I told my parents about it. We had a fight, like we always do when I take dumb decisions that influence my future in a bad way but in the end, I convinced them not to make me play again. Besides that, we were soon going to move in another city and it would have been hard for me to travel from a city to another just to learn about chess.