I remember a game of chess I lost to my late grandfather.
I do not remember the specifics of the checkmate, but I do remember more than half a dozen of his pawns on my side of the board. All of his major pieces were still on his side of the board. He had barely touched any.
His pawn structure was so intricately perfect that I was paralyzed. One after another, he locked my pieces and captured them using just his pawns. He even locked my queen, a piece that can move in all possible ways. Soon, my king was locked and captured while my other pieces remained blocked.
Previously, I had been protective of my major pieces. I guess, he wanted to show me how each piece on the chessboard was equally important when used in the right fashion. With only pawns, he destroyed the game. How he did it remains a mystery to me. I guess I should have written down the moves.
It makes me think of opening a jar with five thumbs. It must be hard. When 5 differently sized fingers come together, it can be easily opened.
I first posted this article on Linkedin on April 4, 2019.