Randy Dahlgren

Kings, coffee rule Houston A&W

Tucked behind the counter at Houston's A&W is a well-used chessboard and set of player pieces—a legacy of avid chess fan John Van Barneveld.

After three calls of “check” Dennis Tate’s king was looking a little lost.

Across the table, Randy Dahlgren bites his glasses and thinks about his next move. Fellow chess player Paul Sahota looks on without a word.

“Checkmate.”

It’s one game in hundreds played by four or five regulars at the Houston A&W—a tradition that started some 15 years ago.

“I think we’d have credit old John with starting chess here,” says Dahlgren, referring to the late John Van Barneveld, who used to play at least two games a day.

“Put it this way—there was always a 10 o’clock and three o’clock coffee break in my life,” Dahlgren said.

Two years since Van Barneveld passed, his well-worn chess board and pieces are still the ones tucked behind the A&W counter.

Asked who’s the now top player in the crowd, Paul Sahota gave a strategic answer.

“Everybody,” he said, smiling.

Sahota, who started a year and a half ago, says most games last a half hour or so.

But if you’re not careful, they can be over a lot quicker than that.

The day before, Tate said Dahlgren bested him in just four moves.

“If you’re sleeping, he’ll get ya in three moves,” he said.

“He’ll test you all the time.”

Dahlgren says while a quick opener works now and again, every game is different.

“You can win a couple times like that, but sooner or later you’re teaching him your moves,” he said.

Key to any good chess player, Tate said, is thinking a few moves ahead.

That makes it a real mental test, he added, especially at the bustling A&W, and it can show.

“You go home and you forget the milk you were supposed to get,” he said, laughing.

 

Just Posted

Repen: FOI data proves Telkwans being ripped off by ICBC

Former Telkwa mayor received a response from ICBC and says the results don’t look good for residents

Fires still burning near Telegraph Creek

BC Wildfire Service assures residents of a proactive plan heading into wildfire season

Northwest entrepreneurs pitch their plans for cash prizes

ThriveNorth announces 12 finalists in this year’s business challenge

Gas prices spike in northern B.C. ahead of the long weekend

Fuel went up 17 cents overnight in Prince Rupert

Cyclist braking stigma on addiction from coast to coast

Mathew Fee aims at world record for longest distance on BMX bike while sharing his story of recovery

Parliament Hill 4-20 organizers predict record crowd after legalization

A celebration? Yes, but organizers say concerns remain about the government’s decisions on legalization rollout

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Parents say Austrian climber missing in Banff National Park ‘lived his dream’

David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing since Wednesday

Six months after legalization, high prices and supply issues boost illicit pot market

It has been six months since Canada became the first industrialized country to legalize recreational cannabis

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, multiple people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Most Read