Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Friendless Names First Black Gaming Opponent

The news this morning that Barack Obama has named the first black attorney-general (of the U.S.) reminds me that it's important to emphasise people's race when talking about them. Especially if that person is black, you need to mention what they've done. Hence I feel it important to tell you about my first black gaming opponent.

Rowdy was my best mate in the late 70s when we went to school together for 4 years. He wasn't African-American (I think I'm still waiting for my first African-American gaming opponent), he was Dutch-Indonesian. As a result he had a bit of an identity crisis - he didn't know whether he wanted to be a brown superman or Johan Cruyff. As Johan Cruyff was not famously good at cricket, and that was what we played, I think he emphasized the brown superman aspect. And when I was stuck bowling for an hour and I just couldn't get through his defences, the brown superman claim was (a) credible, and (b) annoying.

Anyway, the only board game I can recall us playing together was Chess, and he was better than me at that too. I've got no idea whom I ever played against other than Rowdy, but lack of experience was no reason to be happy about losing. I remember I did beat him once with a very cunning plan where I had an attack set up behind a wall of pawns down the left hand side. When he attacked the wall of pawns the trap was revealed and I burst out to attack the rest of the board. I think that was the last game of chess I won until about 2004 when I played against my kid.

Rowdy (and I) are all grown up now, and we're back in touch. He has two gorgeous kids. He's still better than me at cricket, and I see no need to spoil my Chess record. Maybe one day I'll make him Australia's first Dutch-Indonesian attorney-general.

1 comment:

Martijn said...

Sounds like the perfect opportunity to learn some Dutch!