Lobby 7 Chess

Lobby 7 Chess

The floor of Lobby 7 at MIT is tiled with large marble(?) squares. What does this remind you of? Well, nothing actually. What if you imagined the squares being alternating light and dark? A checker/chessboard - right. Apparently this idea has occurred to many MIT students as well, and, in the past, there had been a Lobby 7 Chess Club, where each week, a group of people would get together and play human chess in Lobby 7. However, by the time I reached MIT, this tradition had long since faded away.

Brad heard about this club, and decided that he would make Lobby 7 chess happen again. I, of course, being his Weenie Prince, offered to help in any way I could. We started mobilizing our friends, including quite a few TEPs, and many of brad's weenie friends in the process. As a side note, a great deal of our time, and the source of a great deal of amusement, was trying to determine which pieces were appropriate for which people. We tried to coordinate good, upstanding, forthright people with the White side, and devious, darker, people with the Black side. Of course, we also coordinated positions with how people worked. Those who were always in control, and knew how to take control of situations, were the back row pieces, whereas those who often fell into the control of others (such as myself) were generally pawns. These are, of course, just general guidelines and we broke them right and left, but it was still fun.

As it turns out, I still have a copy of Brad's original e-mail describing what was going to happen, and the casting of each side. That generally gives the idea of what was going on. And then, finally came the night of the game.

Twas quite a bit of fun actually. Everybody got all dressed up for it, in black or white, with appropriate weapons to their costume. For lack of better costuming, I went as a Secret Service agent, in a dark suit and sunglasses, with a laser-tag gun in an inside pocket (since I did not have a shoulder holster). But what amazed me most was the number of people we drew. Admittedly, we had all been hyping it to our friends for a week or two, so that explained them showing up, but the fact that Lobby 7 is a main thoroughfare even late in the evening helped a lot. People would be walking to or from their dorm, and walk into Lobby 7 and just stop. Many of them, being good MIT nerds, would just grumble at the fact they would have to go 20 feet out of their way to get around the game, and went on their way. But quite a few others stayed and watched from the balconies or the floor or wherever. Many others were also taking pictures and stuff - no doubt to show their friends back home what weirdos these MIT students were.

But we had a good time. As proclaimed, both Jay and Josh (the two kings) were a bit rusty, but by the third game, they had quite a good match. And the games themselves were quite fun to be part of. There was a good deal of banter going on between the kings and the pieces. "Fair lady, my white queen's pawn, would thou steppest forward two squares in the name of the White side?" is a fair example. Whenever one piece captured another, there would be mock battles staged, from swordfights (with foam weapons) to quick-draw contests with guns (which I got involved in of course), etc. It was just generally pretty relaxed and fun, and everybody involved had a good time. We even got our picture in the Tech the next day! I do have a copy of this photo at home, but of course, have no access to a scanner or it at this point. Someday, I'll have a link to it.

Sadly enough, that was the only time Lobby 7 chess happened in my 4 years at MIT to my knowledge. At least I experienced it once.

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Eric Nehrlich's WWW home page / nehrlich@alum.mit.edu