By Sophie Lee, Operations Intern
When I was growing up, my grandmother worked at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. For almost every holiday or birthday, she would buy me and my sister abstract toys from the gift shop. One of these toys was a chess set, designed by the artist Karim Rashid. I can still remember the way it smelled and the exact spot where it sat in my sister’s closet. My dad taught me how to play but eventually, I lost interest and the chess set remained in the closet for many years.
The game of chess rarely crossed my mind since then until I, like many others, watched The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix during quarantine. Being a student majoring in Film, Television, and Interactive Media, I had a great appreciation for the mini-series, as it was wonderfully directed and had stunning cinematography. The show also re-introduced me to the game of chess, and it gave me a newfound appreciation for the game. I immediately wanted to relearn the game and went to my sister’s closet to find our abstract chess set. Unfortunately, my sister recently moved out and cleaned her closet in the process, and the shelf that once held the Karim Rashid chess set sat empty.
When I returned to Brandeis, I found out that three of my roommates quite enjoy playing chess. I bought a ten-dollar chessboard at Target, which does not quite compare to my MoMA board, but it does the trick just fine.
One of my roommates was apparently in his high school’s chess club, and he volunteered to reteach me the game. Luckily, watching The Queen’s Gambit taught me some very basic rules, so I did not have to start from scratch. As we played our first game, my roommate helped me along and I ended up winning the game! Granted, I would not have realized that I had won if he had not told me, but I was thrilled nonetheless. Unfortunately, this was a classic case of beginner’s luck, and I have not won a single game since then.
I am excited to learn more about chess its community through interning for Premier Chess, . Hopefully, I can eventually win a game against one of my roommates. I was able to sit in at a Youth class yesterday and was shocked by the skill level of the students, I’m sure any one of them could beat me. I cannot wait to continue to learn from the Premier Chess community and to help spread the word about the game of chess. Now if only I could find my old chess set!