One at a time, or all at once?
It makes no difference to Deepak Aaron, an Albany chess champion who defeated a string of 22 opponents in a Middletown, NY chess exhibition match over the weekend.
While most players would struggle to turn in a run of wins like that even under the best of circumstances, Aaron played and won all 22 games simultaneously, walking from table to table to make his moves.
How did he get to be so good? He started playing when he was just five years old, and keeps himself sharp with up to five hours a day of practice. But he's playing with a significant genetic advantage, too: his grandfather, Manuel Aaron, is also a chess master, having won the Indian national chess championships no fewer than nine times between 1959 and 1981.
No such prestigious title was waiting for Aaron in this weekend's contest -- but more than just bragging rights were being handed out all the same. As organizer Luis Garcia told the Times Herald-Record, the contest saw the players writing checks as well as strategizing them: Garcia was hoping to raise as much as $2,000 in donations to support a local food pantry.