Chess Players My father was chess champion of Pittsfield, Massachusetts when I was nine years old. This was a defining event in my childhood. Because I was the only kid in the house (and there were five others) who wouldn’t play chess with Dad. Oh, he tried to teach me, but beyond the bait of the pieces being called fairy tale things like queen and knight, the overriding issue was the fact that at the end, there would be a loser. I don’t do loser. I am a terrible loser.