Zev and I paused for a game at this XXL-sized chess set next to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. We waited our turn in the hot sun, quietly kibitzing as two Dutch tourists finished up their ponderous play.
Just as we were about to hop on, three British-Indian kids and their family showed up, so Zev and I took them on: I was the brains, he was the brawn, moving the surprisingly hefty pieces on my command.
I’m embarrassed to admit that I showed these exuberant, pleasantly quarreling kids little mercy, but in my defense, I wanted badly to deliver a victory to my son.
Also, given that they opened with 1. e4 c5 2. d4??, what was I supposed to do but smoke ’em? We harassed their queen for a few moves after 2. d4 cxd4 3. Qxp, then settled into a whittling queenside attack, leaving our queen in their midst as a thorn in the side. After a while, Zev bored of the whole picking up and putting down routine, and opted instead to stand in for various pieces, straight at tall as the king, cross-legged and waiting as the rook.
We returned the next day and played a better game against a father and his two kids. This time, Zev provided more strategic advice and decisions.
Schwartzes are two for two in the Rijkmuseum chess tournament.
Turns out there’s a Chess Museum in Amsterdam, but unfortunately I didn’t do my homework until too late: it’s only open from Tuesday to Friday, I discovered on Saturday.