September 2 was National Chess Day. Yup, that’s a thing (apparently). Do you play chess? Have you ever? When I was a competitive tennis player, my coach forced me to learn chess. Let’s just say, I didn’t have a clue how to play chess. My coach told me chess is very much like tennis, your current move sets you up for your future moves…just like with tennis and every shot that is hit.
So, when the opportunity came along for my children to learn chess at 3 years old, during preschool in the Bronx, I jumped on the opportunity. There was a program there called Chess at Three. We still have our chess set to this day, though we have not played in years. But, for some reason lately, I’m inspired to get back into it and get my girls thinking strategically…in the game and then in life. Having my kids develop their chess game will help to improve their problem-solving skills, increase their patience, concentration, and improve their memory – all while working both sides of the brain. There are big benefits to this game!
One thing I think is pretty cool about chess is the distinct abilities (moves) of each piece. How DOPE is the queen because she can go any way she wants, however she wants…and as many spaces as she wants?! Diagonal. Forward. Backwards. She can do it all. I like that power. 😆 And the king? One move in any direction…but just one move. (True to life? 🤔 😆 Kidding! 😉 )
The knight moves in L-shapes and the bishop diagonally. There is an entire row of pawns guarding the royal pieces and can only move one space at a time, except on the first move, where two spaces are permitted. But, get anyone one of the pawns to the opponent’s last row, you get another queen.
It’s just so cool to think about each piece and how their abilities play into the master plan of winning i.e. check-mating the king. I constantly see the parallel to real life here. How do each of us, with our strengths and abilities, contribute to the master plan of life? We all have to work together to win, right?
Well, lucky for us, I recently found out that our local library hosts chess playing every Tuesday night. I’ll have to ensure my girls are prepared to rock with the best of them. Additionally, I have to sharpen my own sword as my friend just beat me twice this week (ugh!). I’ll let you know how it goes.
What are some cool games your family is into lately? Comment below and let me know. Happy National Chess Day!