Monday, September 13, 2010

Up 1 And Over 2

Without any, or very minimal, deliberate effort, my kids have taken some interest in chess.

The other night I had the pleasure of playing a game with my son on the kitchen table. I was absolutely amazed at how much he now understands. I would ask him questions throughout - *what am I threatening?* and *would happen if I take this piece?* - and he's been able to correctly and swiftly answer.

So, how'd he acquire that knowledge?

Well, he's seen me play his great-grandfather a couple of times and we did go over how each of the pieces is allowed to move once. See his post - Beginning Chess.

But also I've been letting him, and his sister, mess around with Chess Titans, the game that comes pre-loaded on Windows. He likes to *play against himself* and he, and his sister, celebrates wildly upon victory!

While I was playing with my son the other night, his sister, the 4.24 year old Princess was badgering me for a game as well. "When we're done, yes, you and I will play", I moaned at what might have already been 9pm.

And when her turn came, I opened e2 to e4 as I always do. She did open with a pawn somewhere as well.

But then on her second move, my little girl grabbed the knight, looked me in the eye, and explained to me that she could move it to *either here or here*, while she pointed out the two squares that it could possibly move to.

I was blown away. How the bleep did she know that?

Later I figured that she must have learned it all on her own, from the computer game, which after you click on a piece, highlights its possible moves.

If you have little ones, put them on Chess Titans. You might be surprised how much and how fast they pick up what may seem like a complex subject. I know I continually am.

And, BTW, I think it's time for my daughter to start her own blog. Her reading is a little behind her brother's pace (due to second child neglect?) but I think a little *composition* might help cure that.

1 comment:

Taylor Conant said...

Man, I've been teaching my Little chess and the first game we played he tried to diagonally move his pawn 2+ spaces about 10 or 11 times before the game was over. I still don't know if he gets how to move the pieces. :(