Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Learning Chess

This is a rather embarrassing thing to admit.

I just taught Sam to play chess. It's been years and years since I've played. So long, in fact, that I had to look up the rules to remember them all. First, I taught him how to set up the board. Then we went through each piece and how they moved. We discussed a few of the lesser used moves like castling and en passant, a move I was not familiar with. Finally, we discussed the goal of the game and terms like check, checkmate, and stalemate.

Once he got all that down, he wanted to play. I think he learned a lot in that first game. One less was that you have to pay attention to the game. I moved while he was watching the tv. He had no idea which piece I had moved and to where. It's a good lesson that he needs to learn, in general, so I didn't tell him which move I made. He also learned about getting too excited about capturing a piece only to realize on my next move that he had just sacrificed an important piece. Ooops! A pawn isn't worth losing a knight or rook.

So, play went along until I had captured all of his pieces except his King. This is where my lack of practice, skill, and strategic abilities shows up. Despite my having captured every piece, we still tied. Yep, the game ended in a stalemate. His king wasn't in check but neither could he move it to any piece without putting into checkmate. At first thought, this seems like I won but the rules state that a stalemate is considered a tie.

So, my son tied his very first game of chess.

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The Four Week Vegan said...

My middle son liked chess for a while, but I was not much of a match for him.

Suswan said...

Congratulations Sam! With your mathematical mind I bet you're going to be really good at chess!

David said...

I'm not very interested in playing board games. Chess is one of the few exceptions. I played quite often in my teens.