‘It’s Curtains…’ playing chess with my dad #blogpost

5 Jun

P490

Last week I played chess with my dad. I’d gone over to see him, and later on in the evening I suggested we had a game. He looked at me and asked me if I was sure. Of course I said. The old Staunton set was summoned and we dutifully picked pieces and set off. He beat me the first game. I claimed it was one careless move of mine, but knew really that he was still very sharp and quick and I had to up my game.

A return match was needed and after some quick exchanges, we were heading towards what looked like a protracted end game. I placed my knight so as to reveal a discovered ‘check’ My dad looked up at me and after a while said ‘it’s curtains’ This has always been his saying for realising that it is checkmate, game over. The old King had to finally admit he could no longer move, and it was indeed curtains.

Only this time we both held each other’s gaze for longer than we had ever done before. We both knew the significance of what he had said. We both knew that for him too it was also curtains. He too was finding it difficult to move and in fact the Macmillan nurse was coming to sort out an increased morphine regime the next day.

The end game always plays out the same. Sometimes it can take longer, sometimes the king resigns himself and admits defeat, and sometimes he can play for time in one of the double corners, until finally it’s curtains.

At the moment the double corners are being utilised to maximum effect. This is a good thing. It means that we can replay some opening moves and memorable middle games, struggle with those problems that make your head ache and spin. We will have more return matches and fight the battle and the time before we head to the final end game.

4 Responses to “‘It’s Curtains…’ playing chess with my dad #blogpost”

  1. Anonymous June 5, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

    What a beautiful and heartfelt blog post xxx

  2. Liz Postlethwaite June 5, 2011 at 5:35 pm #

    Wonderful. Thank you for sharing it.

  3. Anonymous June 5, 2011 at 5:50 pm #

    Beautiful and courageous. Thank you.

  4. Andrew Fawcett June 6, 2011 at 6:54 am #

    very moving. best wishes from all of us.

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