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One of the kids in Rada’s pre-school class plays chess with the teachers. Rada has been hanging out on the sidelines, watching the game.

Last weekend she asked me to get her ‘chest’. Somewhat dubious, but nonetheless delighted, I bought her a chess set.

And we proceeded to play.


Very soon it was clear she knew the rules: pawns go forward and back one square, except on the first move when they can go two. And pawns go cross-wise to capture someone. Kings only move one space, and Rooks slide everywhere cross-wise, etc.

I was thrilled. My daughter IS a genius! I knew it all along. We played a few moves. I captured her Queen, she took a few of my pawns and Rooks. Then, apparently, her King became lonely for his captured Queen and she had them visit with each other…. there was much chit-chat and hugs exchanged between the two chess pieces.

Gently, I tried to get her to re-focus on the game, but she noticed the Rooks were all gathered on her side of the board. She immediately organized a reunion. All the Rooks said hello to each other and there was more chit-chat…

I sighed.  


The genius had turned socialite.


{ 4 } Comments

  1. Ben | February 22, 2006 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    All in all social intelligence seems more important than analytical to me these days. She’s blessed.

  2. Mary | February 23, 2006 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Okay. I do have tears in my eyes over that one! Too cute!

    I, for one, never had the patience to sit long enough to figure out which pieces could move which way, when or why so she’s waaaayyyyy ahead of me!

    Nothing wrong with a sweet little social butterfly either!

  3. me there | February 28, 2006 at 1:45 am | Permalink

    As if there isn’t enough for a 5 year old to do:

    And I think I recognize that position from a game between Emanuel Lasker and Jose Capablanc, St. Petersburg, 1914.

    But seriously, be sure to take a look at the movie “Search for Bobby Fischer”. It features a chess prodigy who learns by watching chess hustler in the park. Ben Kinglsey plays the part of the tutor hired to raise the kid’s game to a serious competitive level.

    There’s a delightful scene where the chess parents are banished to the bansement to watch the games on closed circuit TV so they don’t disturb the players.

    *** SPOILER ***

    The movie has a happy ending – Josh doesn’t get overinvolved with chess and has a life while still winning the championship even defeating the evil chess automatans. (who are much creepier in the book written by his father.)

  4. Molly | February 28, 2006 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Thanks, me there. I’ll look into the movie about Bobbie Fischer. (Who ARE you?)