Checkmate! How chess took over my life

Scott Tortorice

Senior Member
Nov 18, 2003
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The shadows
llUnited States
Another victim of the Chess bug :):

Checkmate! How chess took over my life

It's a problem because I'm in a rare moment in life where I can play a lot of chess. Not with humans, but my iPhone. The reason is the recent birth of my second daughter. When you're holding a 10-pound kid whose continued sleep relies on your capacity to stay immobile, TV is the standard refuge. I have a tough time vegging out in front of a television; I can only watch when there's something I want to watch. Otherwise, I pull out my second-gen iPhone and check the ol' Twitter and Facebook, scan The New York Times and see if I feel like reading something in my Kindle app. And then what?

“Words with Friends” gives me a headache while playing at 1 a.m. on an hour of sleep. “Angry Birds” is glib clean fun that doesn't satisfy for long.

Chess works. There's no clock — or, at least, there doesn't have to be. I can stare at the illuminated board on my touch screen for as long as possible before making a move. If the baby wakes up, I can save the game and come back to it later. If the game gets too easy, I increase the difficulty setting until the app's not-so-impressive A.I. is back to squashing me in eight moves or less. It's challenging and not the least bit labor intensive, and the game carries a cultured air to it that you don't quite get from flinging birds at targets.