The year was 1998 and a new school year had just begun. I sat across the chessboard from a classmate and as they pondered their move I did my best to remember all the things I’d spent the prior summer learning. While I had learned how the pieces moved when I was six, I hadn’t had much opportunity to play until the prior school year when several students would play before school or sometimes during class. My results had been less than mediocre and I wanted to prove myself. I don’t remember the moves of that game, though I had attempted to write them down, I do remember the outcome. Facing defeat, my opponent swiped the board clean with a quick backhand motion. I’d won a game and was ecstatic.

Ever since then I have been hopelessly addicted to the game of chess. I play just about every day in some form or another. I began OTB tournament chess in 2006 and my USCF rating peaked at 1800 thus far. Currently I’m working on getting my rating up to 2000.