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Posts Tagged ‘chess’

I have gotten way behind…all the wonderful emails, comments, media and speaking requests, etc…added to being out of town for a couple days has taken its toll.  Thankfully I got a good night’s sleep last night and am recharged and ready to get caught up!

On Wednesday I headed to Dupont Circle to meet with Katherine Frey and Susan Kinzie of the Washington Post.  Susan had tagged along with me the day before and today Katherine joined to photograph my Year of Giving.

We ran into Bill from Day 36…he was playing an original song he wrote called “Made as One” at the South end of the circle (click here for a pic of us talking).  We chatted briefly…he seems like he is doing well. He is still looking for some places to play.  He used to play at Potbelly’s some evenings, but they have stopped that.  If anyone would be interested in having Bill play at their establishment, let me know.

It was a little after 5pm and the sun’s shadows were growing longer.  I wanted to walk over to the area where the chess players hang out.  It was there I met Sean.

Sean waits his turn to play chess (Photo: Reed)

Sean is a telecommunications engineer with the US Army.  I asked him what he did more specifically and he responded, “I like to tell people that I used to be the guy that you would see in the movies carrying that bag…well, now I try to destroy the other guy’s network!”  When he is not serving our country, the father of three daughters likes spoken word poetry and playing chess.

Sean had made his way up to Dupont Circle after finishing work for the day.  He stands carrying a chess set that he says belongs to his daughter.  In fact he has taught all three daughters to play chess.  Although this is the first time he has been to the circle since winter and snow blanketed Washington, he tries to play as much as possible.

“This is like crack” he says, “although I have never tried it, it’s gotta be something like this.”  “I wake up in the morning thinking about it.  It’s sick!” he says with a grin. 

Today all the chess tables are taken.  Sean waits his turn.  “That’s ok though.  I like to watch.  There are some really good guys here and I always learn something.”

It was about this time that I learned something that I never knew before.  Sean tells me that he played chess for the Army for 4 or 5 years.  I figured he meant that he was in like a chess club at the different locations he was stationed at, but I was wrong.  In fact Sean’s job for the Army was to play chess.  He was on the Army chess team and that was his job.  I had no the military had chess players on the payroll! 

I had a lot of great video of Sean, but for some reason it was not saved on my camera.  I did have some other quick video clips that I had taken later that I have put together here.  Sean talks a little bit about playing chess for the Army, donating his time, and teaches me a little chess lingo.

As for the $10 he said that he was going to give it to his daughters.

Well, that’s it for today.  I am going to go start practicing my chess game.  Maybe the Army will hire me!

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