My father was a patient chess teacher, and I wanted so badly to show him I was smart, but chess was simply out of my reach. If I managed to come up with what I hoped was a good attack, I would forget about defense, and BANG, my Queen was lost. He'd let me take my move back and try again, but it was no use. 'Think carefully', he'd say, and I'd stare at the board, hoping to envision a plan - moves and counter moves. I got nothing. Inevitably, the figures would become people. Sometimes they were families - a Queen-mother and King-father, Bishop-grandmothers and Pawn-children, Knight-dog in the yard of the Rook-bungalow. The Queens were fighting a vicious battle, and it was personal. For the kings it was more a matter of principle, and they barely got excited at all. My favorites were the picasso-esque knights - the only ones with faces. In my father's chess set, every horse is quite unique. One of these is shy and introspective. The other is very outgoing and perhaps a bit gullible. Who weeps for the sacrificed pawn? The pawns get together and realise the king is their true enemy. I remained a very poor chess player. However, the experience may have been useful preparation for my work as a psychotherapist.