Chess is Now My Favorite Video Game

And I am enjoying the ancient game more than I ever have

I’m a Boomer Gamer, and a Child of Gamers.

I have relatives who wonder how a retired lawyer, a writer, and a person known for intellectual pretentiousness can spend his time playing video games. The answer is heritage. My father played cards — pinochle, whist, and bridge. My mother was a demon at Scrabble, Anagrams, and the New York Times Crossword Puzzle. Everybody in my family played games, so when video games came along, I was predestined to be a fan.

Chess the Traditional Way

I learned chess to fit in with a group of young coffee-shop intellectuals I admired, and I played the game only within that social group until I graduated. After college, the coffee-shop crowd dispersed, and I never found regular chess partners again. But I remained fascinated by the game. I continued to own a chess set and a few chess books. Sometimes I set up the board and worked on openings by playing against myself.

From Board Games to Video Games.

While my time with the chessboard decreased, my time playing video games increased. There was Intellivision, Nintendo, the personal computer, Playstation, and Xbox. Video games became more than just shooting waves of space invaders. They had plots, dialogue, and stunning graphics. When cell phones became ubiquitous, people could carry video games in their pockets and I did.

Chess — The Video Game.

Like millions of other people around the world, I watched Netflicks’ Queen’s Gambit, enjoyed the hell out of it, and took another look at chess. The chess set was still in my closet. The free chess app was still on my phone. I wasn’t in the middle of any good video games, so why not.

I am a retired elder law attorney who lives near Portland, Oregon. I write legal mysteries for Salish Ponds Press and articles for the blog, Aging in Recovery.

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