My dad introduced me to chess when I was a child, and at least in my memory, he was always available to play a game with me. I don’t remember the exact first lesson, but I do remember being new enough to the game to be uncomfortable with the movements. I would occasionally have to be corrected while attempting an illegal move.
Around the same time I was introduced to chess my dad brought home our first computer – the Commodore Vic 20. I could probably write 50 blog entries on my experiences with the Vic 20 (and maybe I will) but it’s one particular memory that came to mind today that I wish to share.
We had Chess on one of those ugly beige cartridges you could buy, and I played it constantly. I spent countless hours in the basement trying to best the computer. If you tried to make an illegal move it put your piece back where it started and made a “bong-bong” noise. I normally played in silence, except for the occasional reminder from the system that I had attempted some invalid.
I don’t remember how long it took, but eventually I figured out what was allowed to go where. Maybe it took a couple of days or something. I remember being a little confused because the pieces on the screen looked different than the ones in our set.
I played a game against the computer and when it drew to a close I realized I hadn’t attempted any illegal moves. The Vic 20 didn’t need to play its warning sound for the entire game. I was ecstatic and ran to tell my dad.
It was a small victory, but sometimes those are the important ones. I was reminded of that story this afternoon when I wrote about 100 lines of VB code in a text editor and it just ran the first time through with no errors. I fully expected the debugger to pop up with some syntax error. Another small victory.