Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I love teaching kids how to play chess.  I've been doing it for years, either at lunch/recess time or after school.  But it takes patience.  Hell, it might take weeks (each of our two separate club sessions is just 45 minutes/week) to get the neophytes to fully understand how each piece moves and captures and, more importantly, what the actual object of the game is.  Then there's en passant... which was today's lesson.  If, before the Christmas break, I have five kids out of the forty who actually incorporate this move into their game, I will consider the whole enterprise this fall to have been a resounding success.

And don't even talk to me about a club tournament.  It's in the planning stage, of course.  Wish me luck.  (In the event of my death and in lieu of flowers, just be fucking kind to each other, okay?)

And no, Jason.  Pawns still cannot move backwards.


Gorilla Bananas said...

Some children can play chess for years without being aware of the en passant pawn capture. I saw a teenage boy make an ass of himself in a tournament by objecting when his pawn was taken e.p.

Doctorboogaloo said...

It is always interesting to watch their faces as e.p. is shown and explained to them. Most kids, I swear, think I'm having them on. It goes against their understanding of the rule that a pawn is allowed to move two squares forward on its first move. ('So, like, it can move two squares up the board... but if it does, it's killed? That doesn't sound right.')
I expect the ones who 'get it' to do rather well in their tournament play.

BrightenedBoy said...

I thought for years that I was horrible at chess, but evidently I'd been wrong about that.

I played a game recently with my cousin, who has more experience than me in that area, and beat him splendidly.

Perhaps it's not a lost cause.

Doctorboogaloo said...

BB: Years ago, chess literally saved my life. (It's an ugly story of depression and despair for the most part. But the game got me through. Maybe I'll write about it sometime down the road.)