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I've fallen in love with two older games lately: Gran Turismo 3 and chess. Yeah, chess is just a wee bit older.

Basically, Joe tossed GT3 into the PS2 earlier this week for the first time since we've owned it. He has only played the rally races (since he hates all of the races on pavement). Matt and him scrapped for awhile and I tossed my hat into the ring. I was under the impression that to correctly navigate a turn you had to be turning the whole time. In rally, this couldn't be farther from the truth. You turn well before the actual bend in the road and then power slide through almost every one. I got smoked in those first few races. After they had left, I gave the course a few more runs. I just barely beat the course on "Easy" mode *then* I figured out turning. Each run saw my times improving after each iteration. Eventually, I was beating the CPU car by 10 seconds in "Hard" mode. That is when I got hooked.

GT3 is an extremely deep game. Even the simplistic "Arcade" mode has 30+ tracks and too many cars for me to count. The simulation mode has a depth I haven't quite fathomed yet. You start off with a meager amount of money and no cars. My first car had a whopping 116 HP to start, which was pretty depressing since Zig had a car that was pushing 1048 HP. You can customize your car, earn driving licenses (that allow you to enter the more difficult races), and obviously race. I've just started, but I'm sure I am going to be hooked.

On to chess. For some reason, Zig decided that all of his programming buddies should have a contest. He will write a basic GUI that allows people to plug-in two chess engines and have them go at it. I doubt I will participate (since writing a chess engine would take hundreds of hours, at least), but that got chess on our minds. After dinner (a Tuesday night tradition with the guys), Chris and I ran to the chess store at Briarwood and picked up a chess clock. We went back to my apartment and played four games: Chris versus Matt, Matt versus Joe, Joe versus myself and then Joe versus Chris. None of the games ended with a checkmate since we were playing with the clock. The first game gave 15 minutes per person then we pulled that down to 10 minutes per game when Joe was playing. I just didn't pay attention to the clock and I ran out of time with the game probably only half way through. Speed chess just isn't my thing, but I at least didn't lose in less than 20 minutes total.

Hopefully I stick with both of these games.