Feb 1, 2016

On Playing Chess


This game. (Imagine me shaking my head side to side with my eyes closed as I say this.)

Gavin is ALL ABOUT this game.

This is his thing. It's filled with logic and strategy and rules. Heaven for Gavin.

Me, not so much.

But I love my boy and I want to take an interest in what he likes. If that means I need to learn how to play chess so we can spend time together, so be it. I am now a chess player.

Apparently all these pieces have names. I was previously only aware of the King, Queen and Pawn. I still am not 100% sure of the others, I like to refer to them as my horse, castle and other thingy. I just learned they each have a point value attached to them. Like I'm not supposed to sacrifice my castle for something with lesser points. This was news to me.

Gavin willingly spends his own money on buying books about chess strategy. He studies the games of Magnus Carlsen and tries to copy his moves. He knows the names of certain starting moves. This is stuff that all blows my mind.

Did you know that serious chess players even write down their moves? I did not. As I said before, I'm new at this whole chess thing. Apparently people are very serious about chess. I can relate because I'm very serious about nertz. So on some level we're the same. I prefer a game that's all about speed, chance and hand/eye coordination. Gavin prefers a game that's slow, logical and methodical. Figures.

If I ask Gavin to teach me as we play, he does. He explains why a move I made was bad or good. He shows me how to make better choices. He helps me think about more than just my next move. Isn't that what parents are supposed to do only in regards to life?

This is a lesson in humility, trust and logic for me. I don't ever want to be too old to learn something new...especially if my son is teaching it to me. I may never win, but life isn't about winning, it's about growing. Chess is growing me closer to my son and deepening my appreciation for people who understand and play this game on a regular basis. Man, they're smart!
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