We recently found someone to spend time during the day with Grandma to help her around the house. Grandma was worried that they wouldn’t have anything to do or talk about, so I bought a chess set for them and Grandma is teaching her new friend to play.
Grandma was a middle school math teacher for many years in New York City, and was a brilliant chess player. When I was 10 I came for a visit and we would play. In one match we had this exchange after one of my moves:
Grandma: Darling, you don’t want to move there.
Me: Why not? You can’t take my piece if I move it there.
Grandma: That’s right, I can’t take that piece now. But if you move there, I’ll take your Queen five moves from now…
Not that I’m such a great player, but I’ve never even come close to beating her. We played a few weeks ago and Grandma beat me soundly, humming the whole time. The only way I knew I made one good move is that she stopped humming momentarily after my move, considered the board, and then made her next move and started humming again.
So I mentioned at friday night services to a couple of people that Grandma had been playing chess again. The President came over to Grandma to talk about chess.
President: Fay, I hear you’re playing chess. If it’s ok, I’d love to come over and play sometime.
Grandma: Oh, I haven’t played in forever…
Me: Grandma! You’ve been playing the whole week! Are you hustling right now?!
Grandma (with a slight smirk and a shrug): Well…