I love chess. It’s a beautiful game of war. The pieces move with order, so much so that computers can beat humans.
Even more than chess though, I love Go. I started playing Go in college. My friend Michael introduced me to the game. We used to play chess for hours, drinking coffee manically, smoking cigarettes manically (or at least I did), Michael would eat bean and chess tacos. Michael read books about chess, and was in general a much stronger player. He won most of the games. Then, one day, he brought in a Go board. The rules are simple, much simpler than chess: a gridded board, black and white stones, it’s a game of domination. But the point, unlike chess, is to gather territory. It’s a different way of conceptualizing the board. It’s less about taking pieces and gaining points (if you’re a point-counter in chess, which I am, always counting, though I’ll gladly sacrifice a 10-point piece for a pawn. This is probably why I lose so often. Also, my end game is a wreck.) and more about visualizing territory.
Writing is a game to me, my books are games. The books I enjoy most are games, which is why I read so much OuLiPo stuff. I have no point to make. I just like games, that’s all.