Her: "I have all these combat skills that I never got to use. It's like having a car that you don't get to drive."
Me: "You mean like those decorative towels in your bathroom?"
Her: "Not really."
In case the analogy to chess did not just smack you upside the head, I’ve decided to end my semi-retirement from tournament play at the local chess club. Otherwise, are not my chess skills, such as they are, in a similar state of disuse as that girl's combat skills—or perhaps more aptly, her embroidered towels which are merely “for show”?
It seems to me that developing one’s chess skills but not playing is rather like obtaining a helicopter pilot’s license but then declining the opportunity to fly a chopper. Approximately 4,000 “Experts” of chess reside in the United States, making this echelon of chess-players scarcer than active, licensed helicopter pilots by a factor of ten, and probably qualifying them as an endangered species.
Why not compete in rated games simply for the opportunity to use my “combat skills,” such as they are? Am I a coward? No. I’m busy, yes, but anyone can carve out three hours a week. Otherwise, for what exactly did I absorb 349 pages of Vukovic?
"I have all these combat skills that I never get to use. It's like having a car that you don't get to drive."
Or a helicopter.
*Yes, this detail is important to the story.