Checkmate: (n) in chess, a check from which a king cannot escape.
Rudy was not rude–but he was very stubborn, especially when it came to chess.
He loved the game and had practiced it since he was a boy of five, and now, at sixteen years of age, he was anxious to take on all comers. He loved to obliterate the competition, bragging about how few moves it took him to conquer.
He was certainly obnoxious.
He was so bratty that everybody wanted to play chess with him just to pull him down a peg or two from his glory perch in the sky.
Everybody but me.
I had learned to play chess when I was very young, but never liked the game that much. Even though I realized stating that aloud made the smug and the pseudo-intellectuals believe that I was stupid, I still found chess to be slow and over-rated.
So I had no intention of playing the game with Rudy the Rude. (I changed my mind. He was rude.)
This frustrated him and caused him to put out vendetta after vendetta, and eventually he told me that if I could beat him, he would give me five dollars and if he won, I would owe him nothing.
I thought it was time to risk my ego for the possibility of remuneration.
Call it what you will–an alignment of the stars, a lucky few moves, Rudy losing concentration, or maybe me just being better at the game than I thought I was–well, I beat him.
He went ballistic. He was so angry that he nearly accused me of cheating–except that our little match had gained an audience of about twelve people, so there were witnesses.
He reached into his wallet, handed me five dollars, and screamed, “Double or nothing!”
Now, let me tell you that I possess many vices. For instance, I’m obese. I’m kind of lazy. I need to work on my consideration, like every son of Adam. But I am not bone-dead stupid.
Possessing the Golden Ring, it is not a good idea to go to a pawn shop and hock it. I wasn’t about to give Rudy another opportunity.
I think it nearly drove him crazy–because every time he began to discuss his God-given ability with knights, kings and rooks–there was always somebody who had been at the great match, and was prepared to remind him of his Waterloo.
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