Friday, June 21, 2013

"Would you like to play a game of chess?"

I knew the day was coming. In fact I've been helping it come about for a year now. But I'm not sure I'm quite ready. Both my sons have been playing chess a lot lately, mostly with me at home, but also chess club every Friday, often at after school, etc.

Now, I'm not necessarily that good a player - I do OK, and I've been studying and practicing with my tablet chess game, but I'm sure I'm a beginner myself. I always beat them, and I've told both boys I will never let them win - when they win against me, they will both know they've beaten me on their own merits. It's the learning struggle that is important. I've had some close calls (mostly stupid queen losses), but I've always pulled it out. And my larger concern was Alexander, since he was the older and the better player.

So it came as a large surprise today when I tipped my king over in resignation to my youngest son Ryan last night. He is a very intense and dedicated player, and in fact he won a trophy at the recent chess tournament. Now, to be fair, I gave him one or two "redos" where he didn't like his move and what resulted and I let him undo it. But I could see how sharp his moves were, how far ahead he was looking for his moves. Even 2-3 moves ahead is a lot, and as far as I can tell he was a bit further than that. At the end of the game it was down to a king and pawn each, and he clearly knew what he was doing as he guarded his pawn with his king, took my last pawn, and completely blocked my king from getting to his pawn before he could move to the opposite side of the  board and get a queen. I figured he'd be happier if I resigned rather than make him beat me, so I did. He was extremely excited.

So we'll call this one a close-to-a-win against Daddy. And good lord I'm going to have to try harder ;-)

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