Skip to content

mind games

Even with the good weather now upon us, my daughter and I are still playing chess. We play the Lower Southeastern Somerville convention which allows players to use best guess strategies when pieces are accidentally knocked off the board. LSS rules also allow long breaks for baths, dinner, snacks, and phone calls.

Anyway, I noticed that my daughter didn’t really like playing with the brown set of chess pieces. She always preferred the white set. But I forced her to alternate with me, so that each of us got equal chances at the two sets. She complained about it, and tried at every opportunity to wheedle herself more games with the white set.

About two weeks ago, I decided to mess with her head a little. I made it so that every time we played a game, no matter who was playing what color, the brown pieces always won. (I can do this because I still play a better chess game than her, though the advantage is fast diminishing). After a few weeks of this, my daughter started wanting only to play with the brown pieces. Nothing was said. She just ‘decided’ it was what she wanted, and once again tried to wheedle her way into more games with them.

Now I’m going to play with her head even more. I’m going to make it so that color advantage is totally random and winning has nothing to do with the color of the piece.

My questions for you are:

Will these mind games mean she’ll need more therapy later in life to cope with the emotional scar?

….or am I raising a child of the future, attuned to a more perfect union if you will…. a world where the rainbow rules and all colors can win?

{ 1 } Comments

  1. Ben | April 14, 2008 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    I love the animism of children. It’s like she (or any kid) thinks the pieces have some power and will of their own, that they are active participants in the game and might impact the outcome.

    Mostly though I am impressed that the kid loses sometimes. It’s much easier to, in the words of C3PO, “let the Wookie win.”