And whatever I knew I was quick to teach my kids. So they knew how to play Carroms, Chinese checkers, Scrabble, Uno…no, not bluff[ I havent introduced them to playing cards yet], before they even knew how to read.
Alright alright Scrabble came after they learnt how to read.
Gosh u guys nit-pick so much;-S.
Now chess is the one game I never learnt but heard lots about.….
Not everybody can play Chess….
You need to be good at maths to play chess....
People who play chess are very intelligent...
Chess has to be learnt young….
Eating lots of okra helped chess players….
If I tax my memory some I’ll definitely recall more useless information. But as a child & even in my teens I swallowed all these stories verbatim.
When I was in my 20’s one or two people offered to teach me seeing my interest but I shrank back from…..I don’t really know what. One reason could be that I thought it was too complicated and the person teaching me will think that I’m a fool. I had also convinced myself that it was too late to learn.
Vishwanathan Anand was a genius in my book. I never missed any article about him in the sports section. Much of the jargon on chess would have gone over my head but I still read every word on him. Chess was not like cricket or football. It was about mind games….. and Vishwanathan Anand battled against the BEST in the world and came out tops. In my mind he seemed invincible....one of the few celebrities I idolised.
Oh for goodness sakes, let’s just leave Salman Khan out of this conversation shall we. Sometimes I wonder why I tell u guys all my secrets;-/.
During the shopping festival here, some malls put rows and rows of chess boards for people to play. No prizes offered just pure entertainment for the players and the crowd. I would have no clue what was going on but I’d stand there and watch. The facial expressions of the players, the tension in the air, their fingers deliberating over the next move, everything fascinated me.
|The kids playing on a life-size board|
The tragedy was that unlike the other games they never took the chess board out on their own to play; I had to coax and cajole them into it and they played like they were doing me a major favour;-(. Naina especially was so irritating. I would often hear her ‘Chechi look, you can kill me if you do this’. Even though I didn’t know chess I definitely knew Naina was not going to win matches if she was showing people how to score over her. After sometime I too lost interest and the chess-board was carefully packed back into its cover & stowed away.
Recently the kids went to a birthday party & Nikita won a chess set as 1st prize for some game they had played. Interest in chess returned tenfold and they spent a lot of time setting up the board and walking around the house with it. My elation dipped when realisation dawned. You see it was a magnetic chess board. They walked round and round the house with the board & its pieces facing downwards to the ground basically to test the magnetic pull between the board & the pieces;-/.
When they were finally convinced that the pieces were not going to crash to the ground they settled down to play. Their father helped them renew their memories and skill and soon they were playing with a lot more interest than what they showed last year.
“You don’t know how to play chess????” queries Naina incredulously recently when I tell her why I can’t play with her.
I shake my head mournfully.
“I’ll teach you mama” says Naina excitedly.
“Not now Naina maybe someother day, go play with chechi now” I reply absent-mindedly, my mind occupied with mundane matters.
But Naina had made up her mind she was going to teach me. She followed me all around the house with the chess-board and went on and on about the game.
I admitted defeat after sometime and sat down to let her teach me. I had to get her off my back somehow. As soon as we started Nikita appeared on the scene and competed with Naina to teach me. They then proceeded to argue, debate, shout eachother down while each tried to educate me about how chess should be played. I held my head in despair and tried to think clearly thru the din. My 1st instinct was to walk away but I knew the kids would be so disappointed. And I always wanted to learn how to play didn't I??
I finally restored calm & issued a direct order that both were not to open their mouths until I asked them to. I then asked all the questions to each of them in turns.
2 hours and 3 games later I was beginning to see the light. I was royally beaten by both of them but I got the hang of how the game worked. The very next day I beat Naina and felt like a world champion. I haven’t been able to beat Nikita yet though I scared her once or twice [yes she’s good at it but I could be biased;-D].
Honestly I was taken aback at how easily I took to it……all my life I thought that chess was some complicated labyrinth which required super powers to understand. At the ripe old age of 38 I finally learnt to play Chess.
It was all in my mind….the mental block which made me think I'm a dimwit who would not be able to grasp the rules even if somebody taught me. I’m so glad my little one bullied me into learning it. Though I pretend to be very reluctant about playing[reverse psychology…… to get the kids more interested in the game;-)] I am hooked.
Things I don’t understand I clarify with the better-half. I haven’t played a game with him yet. But one day I will. In the meantime I’m secretly practicing my moves to knock his socks off.
Oh get your mind out of the gutter people, I was talking about my chess moves;-D.
Are there any valuable tips you want to leave for this blog friend and chess enthusiast??? I need all the help I can get. I’d also love to hear about your experiences with chess.
Edited to ask: Just suppose I am at a point where I have to give up either my Bishop or the Rook, which one should I sacrifice: the Bishop or the Rook???