Ode to Beer

My FIRST tournament is this “Ode to Beer” presently running on this site. In which I am doing very well. I joined because Beer and I go back a way. Not quite as long as I have been playing chess, however. 

Being a newcomer to Chess.com I was not able to join other tournaments because I had not played enough games, had too high of a percentage of disconnected games and other criteria sought out by the tournament managers to limit participation.

Ode to Beer was easy to enter and challenging situations started immediately. I made a promise to myself that if I did well in this tournament, I would ‘brew’ a special batch of beer, just to celebrate. I have another hobby, besides chess, ‘Brewing Beer’. In fact I have a special yellow license plate on my white pickup truck that says. “LIV2BREW”.

You have probably read articles about chess being like two army’s testing perimeters, finding weak points and attacking tiered royalty. 

I had discovered such way back, nearly my earliest recollection. My father taught me chess around age 5 and a grade school teacher, Mr. Grant, linked chess to Ben Franklin’s, “Morals of Chess” in the 6th grade. A grandfather had a lock of George Washington’s  hair and a letter with a recipe for “Small Beer” that I came across years later, about 1967.

So here I am, 62 years old, finally putting it all together.

When Washington was made ‘Commander in Chief’, he travelled to Boston to meet his army. He found his army on the heights around Boston, surrounding the British troops occupying the city below. A city that was also ravaged by a horrible small pox plague.

The American camps were not clean and many of the American troops were already under attack with camp diseases that included infectious fevers. An early ‘general order’ was the letter addressed to all officers with the rank of major or higher to produce 30 gallons of ‘Small Beer’ for their men to consume weekly. George Washington estimated that replacing water for his men with ‘Small Beer’ would make the American army 25,000 troops larger than the british troops who were obliged to drink the water, at the end of the war.

In 1776, untreated water killed people.

8 years later, Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington at Yorktown. The army went home and this new country grew great. Those officers wrote about ‘Small Beer’ to friends and family. Other grains were substituted as “Small Beer’ moved from coast to coast.

Here I am passing the story on to people in a BLOG at chess.com. As a home brewer I have developed an attitude of drinking my own mistakes and learning about endless variations to brewing recipes.

An attitude I take to a board with 64 squares and 32 pieces. You and I have a really great game in common. If you are getting ready to play a game in the tournament, "Ode to Beer" and happen to get me as an opponent, just picture a good friend across from your table, hoisting a "Do Right Red Beer" that hopes you will do a bang up job at Queen Gambit Accepted with your black pieces!

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