Last night I played a game of chess with Matt Kolbert using pieces and a board I brought myself. We were playing in the same room where people were playing ping-pong, and many times the ball landed on the board and knocked over pieces, causing us to have to figure out which ones went where. We would have moved except the board was very sensitive and we couldn’t move it without all the pieces falling over.
I don’t have much experience with chess, but I seemed to have an advantage in that according to Matt, my moves are hard to predict since I was willing to sacrafice a bishop to take out one of his bishops. I was able to take out one of his knights, and later he took out one of mine. We remained about even throughout the game.
When Matt had an opening, he took out his queen; I had to be very careful to avoid it. I always checked if my pieces could be hit by one of his in the next turn, but there was a piece of mine I shortly forgot would need special protection. Before I even realized I was in any danger he moved his queen and declared “Checkmate.” Just as I was about to accept defeat, a ping-pong ball appeared and knocked his queen off the board, eliminating the danger. Technically he still won, but I like to see it as our game was interrupted and a winner could not be determined. If I ever enter a chess tournament, I’ll be sure to bring plenty of ping-pong balls with me.