Thursday, January 24, 2019

My Inspiring Chess Story

personal chess story experience

At some point during my final year in school, I was really low on cash. My final year project really took a big chunk of my budget and my account was red.
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I didn't know what to do. No help was coming from home and some other substantial money I was expecting from a reliable source was delayed for some reason.
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 I was just hoping for a miracle. I wouldn't classify myself as a student who was too religious. I am seldomly seen in church on other days apart from Sunday and the only exceptions were during some weekdays, when I was either going to the chapel to pray or for a meeting.
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So, on one of those occasional days during my financial drought period, I was returning to my hostel and I ran into a fellow student. We greeted and he asked me if I wasn't aware of the chess competition that was currently on(because he knew I played chess). I told him I wasn't and he was surprised about that.
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So he directed me to the venue and when I got there, I saw a number of people already playing. I made enquiries from one of the organizers and to my dismay, the registration was already closed. I wanted to leave immediately since there was obviously no point. But instinctively, I just decided to hang around and watch a few games then return.
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As the games went on, I noticed a particular dude sitting alone at a board and he appeared to be impatiently waiting for someone. My guess was confirmed true when I heard one of the tournament hosts phoning someone and asking the person why he hasn't shown up. After the call, he went to meet to  his colleagues and told them that one of those who registered for the game said he was no longer interested.
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They seemed worried about how to balance up things again. And just then the guy who I had made enquiries from told them that someone(me) had met him earlier wanting to register. So after brief consultations, they asked me to take a seat opposite the waiting guy. I still had to register with 500 naira; one of the last few bucks I was hanging on to.
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This was my chance, I felt a strong urge to take it.. I had to take it. And the game began.
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About 40 students registered and it was a series of different games. First round eliminated half of them, second round left 8 of us as a few withdrew. And a final knock out round left us down to 4 players through for the semifinals. We then had some extra time to prepare and come for the finals the next day.
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During these games, I had noticed a particular guy who didn't lose a single game till he got to the finals. When I asked about him, I learnt he was a Post Graduate guy who was really good in chess.
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I knew I was good too, but I was still prone to errors here and there during quick timed games. So, the way I had been qualifying was.. either I lost the first game and won the next two against my opponent or I won the first, lost the second and won the last. Rarely won two starting games in a row against an opponent. But I managed to keep qualifying.
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That night before the finals.. I had revised my tactics/strategies, watched some videos and kept my eyes on the prize.. 10k would go a long way to sustain me while I wait for some support. So, I didn't want to lose.
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The D day arrived ( Joseph Emeka Okoroafor was there to see it) and we played the semifinal games.. I qualified and went into the final.. and same did the Post Graduate guy. Somehow we hadn't met in the qualifying rounds till the finals. He had simply been the best so far.. getting there without losing a single game. Small me.. had been managing to qualify.
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But the game had to be played nonetheless. Lots of students and chess enthusiasts gathered to watch the final game after the third place position was settled.
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I was tense.. because I knew how good my opponent was. And honestly.. many people thought I didn't stand a chance. I could've thought so too given what I had seen, but I had to believe in my self. If I don't believe, who will? ­🤷
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Thankfully, we were given 15 mins time controls instead of the regular 5 mins.. so I had some good time to think.
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Just as the game was about to start after I exchanged handshakes with my opponent. He smiled and asked me which color I'll like to play. Like damn.. In chess when you're asked by an opponent to choose which side to play.. it usually meant that your opponent was confident to play any side against you.
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So I gladly chose white because as at then, my white game was stronger. But he had added to my nervousness by asking me to choose which side I wanted.
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So the game commenced.. it was one game to decide the winner. It was a tough game as expected. I opened with the Bishop's opening. My most aggressive line. ­😁 The guy played expertly. At a point, I felt I was losing because he had a good advantage. Then a strong idea came into my head.. I saw an opportunity to make a knight sacrifice to gain a very strong position of attack. It was a risky move, but my gut instinct was screaming out to me that I should play it.
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If my opponent played anything asides from accepting that sac.. he was most likely to win because that move exposed my position. But I still played it after some considerations.
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I pensively waited for his response. He giggled when I made that move.. like I had done something stupid.. And so he quickly captured the knight thinking it was free.
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Then I smiled, because the path to victory became very clear after that. My next moves pinned down his queen, destabilized his defences and left his king helpless..
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He was smart enough to resign rather than wait to get a clearer picture of what I had in mind and that was how I won that game. People around cheered in admiration at the sheer brilliancy of that knight sacrifice and I went home with 10k and a chessboard. The PG guy got 5k, while the second runner up got 2500.
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At a time when I was wondering how to survive, God somehow provided 10k. And had I not listened to my gut, I for don hear am. I sold that board for 3k. And I was very okay until I finally got some financial help..
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Morals of the story: Listen to your gut instinct, it's almost never wrong. Recognize your windows of opportunity. Never underestimate anybody.
Believe in yourself, even when things appear hopeless(anything can happen). Believe(faith) is what will inspire you to act in your best form.
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Disclaimer: This post shouldn't inspire you to go into online betting o. A competition that you go into with some skills is a different ball game. Before your ticket cut. ­🤣

Friday, January 18, 2019

A Wise Article On What It Means To Love

what it means to love

A lot of people are unhappy, because they are not experiencing love. They feel that nobody cares for them because of a few experiences they have had with terrible people and therefore they adopt this attitude of "me against the world". This attitude which is generalized to everyone still leaves them feeling unloved because they try to do everything for themselves.

This article by Kaosilisochukwu Nwizu Charles addresses this problem by really giving us all a sneak peek into what it means to love. The me against the world approach, though it seems to be working and will definitely get you results isn't actually the best approach to live. We are wired to love.. And no matter how hard we try to pretend that we can take care of ourselves without any other support, we really need love from others.

This article addresses the questions of: "why am I still unhappy?", "Why don't I receive as much love as I give?", "Why do I feel lonely or depressed?" "What is the best way to love?" etc.

Here's the article as written by him:


Every man deserves to be happy and happiness is what we strive for. What then is with life and all these complications?

We break away from friends because we need them, we become indifferent and we look away when all that beacons in us is to embrace, we beat our chest saying goodbye when we really mean to shed countless tears. Strength is now seen in letting go and not holding on.

Many of us have adopted different ideologies in living our lives so much so that we have lost ourselves. We always think of putting people away, most of whom have been major sources of happiness to us in the past.

The question is; does it really make you feel better? We say we are going to show care only to those who care for us, we're going to call only those who call us. If everyone makes such decisions, who then will be the first or should I say weakling? (strength now lies in letting go rather than holding on)We'd probably be walking around with our expensive phones having no one to talk to. A perfect example of - I think - of what Theresa would call virtual friendship.

What a sad life..... We bear burdens we could share because to us, no one cares about whatever we're going through so we smile when we mean to cry.

Ven. Arch Bishop Fulton Sheen in his book YOU tells us how God, who is the fullness of love has put a little part of His love in us and has kept greater part of it for himself so that we feel incomplete without Him. While we are still alive, we lack the fullness of this love because we have not possessed God.

 Therefore possessing many fragments of this love is What God advised us when We asked us to love one another( Jn 13:34) In loving our neighbors we unite to our fragment, a number of other fragments so that we possess a portion larger than what we posses individually while we still live.

We love God because He loved us first(1 John 4:10, you can read the whole chapter) and God is almighty (Apoc 1:8). Why not be little gods(Ps 8:6) to others by loving them first. That is what stronger people should do(Rom 15:1).

So be the first to compliment whatever you like in someone if you want it to continue because you don't know how much they will value it, be the first to call whenever you feel the urge because it happens a lot of times that the person who suddenly came to your mind is also somewhere thinking of you; why not be the first? Pray for the success of those who are or were once your friends, because you don't know what is written on the next page of our stories.

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That's the end. How did you feel after reading that? Did it inspire some good thoughts in you? Do you have something to add to it or share? You can leave a comment.


Thank you for reading. I hope you try to be the first to give this love. Yes, others may not reciprocate it, but if you keep at still being the first to express the love in you to those around you, you will get more love than you ever wanted.

Keep loving first, keep winning!

Your man,
Nigel.

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