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I boarded the coach that would take me to the venue of the chess tournament. It was an all-consuming, unforgettable, always nagging sort of worry:

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Introduction

The Tournament If you have ever regretted volunteering for a task, but had to continue, despite this, you will know how I felt, as I boarded the coach that would take me to the venue of the chess tournament. It was an all-consuming, unforgettable, always nagging sort of worry: that I would bring about my own humiliation as I lost game by game at the prestigious tournament. No. Not a worry but a certainty. For I had not practised once in the past months, while in my prime, it was normal for me to spend a couple of evenings per week at a board, revising combinations. Yes, it was this lack of practice that troubled me to the very core, that I would disappoint my team and be humiliated for it. So the odour of the garbage on the coach had little effect on me, as I contemplated the nature of the disgrace that I would bring upon myself. ...read more.

Middle

I was to play against a boy of no more than 8, who sat precariously on the very edge of his seat, with legs dangling aimlessly under the table. His age and the innocent gaze gave me hope that I could at least secure 1 point for my team. But I was wrong, very wrong. As he made his first moves, I saw he was no novice and despite my best efforts, my fiendish foe struck mercilessly, felling my pieces one by one. It was an uphill struggle, a battle I could not win and yet I tried, while to my annoyance, he squealed with delight after each capture in a childlike manner, though he had the skill of double his apparent age. I can tell you - this was terribly shocking. So there was no surprise when he finally delivered checkmate, though while we did this, I dreaded the teases I would be sure to receive as the result of this lost battle, especially due to my opponent's age. ...read more.

Conclusion

I made no mistake in underestimating my opponent this time, however, it was soon clear he was less gifted than the child prodigy I had played the first round. But there was still something strange about the game play, there was something about the way we played in his shadow that unnerved me, and before long, I once more felt myself sailing against the wind in this battle of mine. But as does a wounded animal strike back, so did I, knowing the fate that would come to me if I lost this match. But then, my silent prayers were answered: in the form of the biggest blunder I had ever seen at this level of play, and I pounced upon it, like a hungry wild cat as he throws himself on a mouse. The tide had changed, and I finished him off easily. The victory was mine, no disgrace for me. Personal Imaginative Nicholas Niem ...read more.

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