Sometime last year, a friend came to stay from Perth. One unusually sunny day in Melbourne he was in the city and messaged me to see what I was doing. I didn't have any plans. He then inquired if I liked Chess? I wasn't sure if he meant Chess - The Musical, Chess - the game, or just mind games in general, so I clarified. As it turned out, he meant Chess. Which was what he said. As it happened, I had learnt to play chess years ago and had really enjoyed it and so I answered yes and enquired why he wanted to know.
He told me to meet him at the State Library on Swanston Street later that day, and so I did. I thought maybe he'd bought a Chess board and we were going to play out the front on the grass but instead he took me inside the library and up some grand staircase and into a room, I s**t you not, specifically for Chess!
There were millions (well maybe I exaggerate) of people with game boards, draughts and chess boards silently, but furiously, concentrating on their next move. I was in awe. I didn't know these types of places existed. Chess rooms! Did we have to join a Chess Club to be in here? Apparently not! We could mosey in, grab one of the several chess boards, grab a table and play. Play till our little hearts were content and our brains could no longer handle the strain of strategy.