Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ben the Chess Master

Ben finally got me to agree to learn how to play chess. Or, more correctly, to relearn how to play chess. I know I tried to learn it at some point in my childhood, but I remember being confused by who moves which way and being too young to strategize properly. Which of course resulted in me not wanting to play, because as a kid I hated not doing things well...hmmm--I think that hasn't changed much, actually!

Ben has asked me many times since he learned to play, and I've always put him off because I always have something else that needs doing. However, now it's summer vacation, things are much more relaxed without schoolwork to be done each day. Matt and Rachel were off at her softball game, Julia was helping Emma play a computer game, and I had just mopped the kitchen floor and had a cup of coffee waiting for me--so why not? Let me first say that seeing my nearly six year old lecture me about chess was uproariously funny!

He was pacing back and forth like a little old man, saying stuff like, "Let me tell you where every piece goes on the board. This is the King, and Queen, and these are the bishops, the horses are the Knights and the castles are the Rooks. You have the most pawns because they are the guys that are the least important..." Then he proceeded to show me how every piece moved, what it meant to be in check, that you win if you get to check mate, etc. We began the game, and he coached me when I forgot how a piece could move. At one point, he moved his bishop where I could capture it with my Queen, but just to make sure, I asked, "Can't my Queen get him now?" He smiled, and said, "I moved him there on purpose to see if you were paying attention!" Which is either adorable, or a very slick cover-up for a mistake!

Okay, in the end he beat me. Though he insisted it was a tie. I only had my King left, and he had his King and had regained his Queen by getting a pawn to the opposite side of the board...I'm not sure if this is a real rule or just something Matt lets him do, but in any case, he had the King and Queen, so we were basically just playing chase around the board, with me in check and unable to capture his King because that would place my King in check (against the rules....)

I feel pretty good about this. I mean, it's my first game in probably 25 years, (actually, maybe more like 30!) and he's pretty good for a five year old who learned to play six months ago.....that's my story, and I'm sticking to it!


1 comment:

Chloe said...

I can't play chess either, even though I know how it goes...I just can't strategize well enough. haha.

And for the record, getting a pawn to the other side of the board does let you regain your Queen, unless your Queen is still on the board, then you can recapture any piece you want.