While kids were out playing basketball or running around the campus, while others were making friends and playing in the park, while many were breaking records with their online games, I was playing chess.
Now, some may think that I had a lonely childhood, but that is not true, at all. I had a great childhood, all because of the fact that I loved, and I still love, to play (and win) chess.
My early love for Chess does not mean that I was not able to have fun like other kids did. I still play outside with friends, and I still sometimes play video games with my brothers and friends. However, whenever I could, I would really prefer playing chess.
I got my passion for chess from my father. He was not a Chess prodigy as I am, but he was, at least for me, more passionate about the game that I ever could be. Chess for him was more than just a game. It was who he is.
He did not succeed in chess out of natural talent. He gave it time and effort, and he learned it with heart. He played with everyone that was willing to play with him, in the park, at home, with friends, it did not matter. As long as they wanted to play chess, he was happy.
Whenever he loses, he smiles. This may be weird for some but my father really likes a challenge. And he smiles when he is beat because he knows that the person seating across him is also someone like him, a passionate chess player.
When he wins, he would also smile. Not because he is bragging about how good a chess player he is, but because he has made it through another challenge with another person.
When I was born, I know that even when I still could not understand chess, my father has already set the chess board in front of me and has been teaching me how to play. My mother said he did not mind looking like a fool, playing with a toddler who barely speaks. His smile was even wider, more genuine, and reflects to his soul, my mother would say. He has never seen my dad so happy as when he was in front of me, playing chess while I only respond with a coo.
As I got older, nothing changed. He still plays with me even when I only tumble down the pieces and look at him with my big eyes. He never gave up on me until finally, I was slowly understanding what he was trying to teach me. The game felt warm to play, because it was him I was playing with. It did not feel like a competition, but rather a moment of bonding and a moment that was ours alone, my dad and mine.
Every time I am recognized for my talent, I never fail to thank my father, who has never beaten me in another game again, ever since I have mastered it.