I should have listened to my four-year-old as he sat upon my lap, helping me in a Chess match up against his six-year-old brother. He kept begging me to make use of my queen (I was letting him move my pieces after I decided where they should be moved to, and he wanted nothing more than to move the queen out into the open). I kept responding that I prefer to keep my queen tucked safely away in the back row, where she can’t be made vulnerable too quickly. For at least twenty minutes we moved our players methodically around the board without a single slaying, highly unusual when playing Chess with my eldest.
As demonstrated in the just previous game, he really delights in as much bloodshed as possible as quickly as possible. He would knowingly walk into traps because he just couldn’t resist killing another of my pieces, and the game went quickly…with high causalities on both sides, and me triumphant in the end. In this second game, however, he stunned me with his sudden maturity as a player. He avoided rash decisions and the urge to annihilate. Maybe that’s why his younger brother was anxious for me to move my queen…some action please! Even I was getting bored.
Eventually, my daring…and darling…opponent took the advice from his younger brother that I had ignored…and moved his queen aggressively into the open. I hardly saw her coming, and I was certainly unprepared. My boy used his queen to make havoc of my defensive line, taking both bishops, a rook and a knight, as well as a couple of pawns, in just a few short minutes. I was running for the hills! Though I eventually managed to take his queen and to preserve my own queen until nearly the end, I finally found myself in checkmate, having been outplayed by a six-year-old. This second game lasted a good forty five minutes, and I was more than a little impressed with the early restraint and the clever thinking my boy employed to win it. He is a very smart kid, and if he slows down and really puts his mind to something, his potential is exponential.