Monday, March 22, 2010


Erik's been teaching Scotty how to play chess.  There's nothing cuter than listening to Scotty recite the names of the pieces, and trying to say words like "diagonal".  He also knows how to set up the board, and, since he also knows that "white always goes first", every game now starts with the unsettling cry of "I'm white!  I'm white!!"  Settle down, aryan youth.

Does four years old seem too young to learn?  It never would have occurred to me, but Erik's own dad (a chess fanatic) taught him when he was 6 or 7, and Erik was not surprised (and happened to be totally prepared) when Scotty asked him how to play.  He taught Tommy when he was only 4 years old, too.

We're not always so highbrow around here.  Certainly this is not news to anybody who has spent more than 6 minutes with us.  In addition to learning to play chess, both of my sons were playing a card game that they had made up this weekend.  With my yoga mat rolled out on the back patio (grrrr!) they sat facing each other, taking turns flipping cards face up from two stacks.  I'm not sure how it was decided, but somehow, they were able to determine that one of the cards would be a loser, and one of them would be a winner.

After each round, the winner got to throw a ball at the loser's face.



  1. I am so impressed that a 4 year old could learn the game of Chess. Are these kids brilliant or what??? The card game sounds brutal, throw a ball in your brother's face may be darn fun though:)

  2. Cool! Callum's school has a really well-respected chess program and they recently started doing weekly lessons with the pre-K students. Recent parent-teacher conference reveals he's good at it! Apparently, he is good at thinking ahead to avoid getting his pieces taken. I'm so proud! We need to get a chess set for home, though, as we don't have one now.

  3. Betty ~ You would not believe how much fun they were having! I kept expecting it to devolve into hysterical crying, but only hysterics I heard were laughter. They LOVED it! Whatever. Boys are so weird.

    Pamela ~ That's fantastic! Erik tries to concentrate on them knowing how each piece moves, and of course how to set up the board and take turns. Now his dad, he was another story! He one told a five year old Tommy, "Now, what you want to do, is you want to develop your board consistently." You have to picture it with an Eastern European accent to get the full effect. :) Somehow it doesn't surprise me that Callum would go to great lengths to keep all his pieces! haha! And, may I suggest a cheap-o set to start? We have both, one that cost just a few dollars at the drug store, and Erik's very expensive set(s). There's nothing like the thrill of privilege that comes with using Daddy's chess pieces, but they also feel so "grown" when they do it themselves...which, sorry kid, won't happen with the expensive set! Also, Tommy has made his own chess set with legos. :)