|Project by MarkTheFiddler||posted 04-21-2014 02:57 AM||1425 views||6 times favorited||18 comments|
When I was a child, I learned the game of chess from my Dad who had been playing all of his life.
In one month – I beat him for the first time.
One Month later – We were 50/50.
One Month later – He never beat me again.
One Month later – I took third in my first rated tournament.
One Month later – I was the Jr. Chess champion of El Paso Texas.
Somewhere along the way I recognized that I had gone as far as I could off raw talent. To get marginally better required tons of study and discipline. I was no master at the game, I was just pretty good for someone so young. After several years of concentrated focus, I hit roadblock after roadblock and could never step up to the next level. My hat is off to those who have the raw ability to far exceed me – There are lots. And there are those who just kept after the game and become better and better through steps and stages. They have left me in the dust.
I am almost finished with chess. I need to give my kids a chance to enjoy the game if that is what they want. I have offered to teach them.
For me, the game is tarnished. Reality stole all the luster out of the game. My children are not polluted by my tainted past and quest for some kind of glory. They can find joy in the game or not. One of them will keep this chess board and share it with their kids. I’d rather them tell their kids that grandpa made the board rather than – Grandpa was a pretty good player.
When you give someone a chess board – you set up an expectation. You guessed it. I hope to one day be able to fashion the chess pieces. Maybe 3 more years? Maybe never? Maybe a granddaughter will make them to tie the generations together. She’ll have the hard job…
The 2 inch squares are garden variety maple and some pretty African Mahagony. The third wood that divides all the squares and composes the innermost border is Jatoba. I am all out of off-cuts in those woods. In case you’re interested, this board is one thickness. No inlays. In case you’re having a spot of bad luck – flip the board over and try again.
Precision almost killed me on this board. How could I screw this simple design up? I found a great many ways to mess it up. My only salvation was sanding it down with a belt sander until all my junky work was stripped away as dust and I found something cool beneath it all.
I learned a lot from my mistakes AND invested in a joiner. ;) A planer is high on my list.
-- Thanks for all the lessons!