Check Mate...or Whatever
First, let me inform those that are interested, I did not "introduce" my daughter to chess. That wasn't something that I was trying to do. I'm not one of those people, you know, who still sign to their children even after they can speak, or that force three languages on them...I'm not that guy.
Second, I don't really give two $#!%s if you think that I am, because the bottom line is that this four year old digs chess and in the end that's all that really matters in learning and development terms, so who cares what you think.
To be perfectly fair, June introduced Zoey to Checkers a week or so ago, and when Zed caught on fast, she was quick to ask about the Backgammon and Chess pieces that were part of the Checkers Board. She literally begged to try chess...begged. I thought it would be impossibly hard, and that there'd be no way she'd ever like it, let alone learn it. She did both. She asks to play, and can set up the board all by herself. Just tonight I walked in on her sitting on her bed with all one billion of her stuffed animals teaching them how to play...and she was doing a helluva job. Oh, she likes to bend the rules, and she'll tell you that she's probably going to cheat, but the little funster gets it. She totally has a grasp on the objective of the game, on thinking a move or two ahead, and few dozen other subtle little nuance-ish things that half my grown-up friends don't even think about. Just tonight she talked about sacrificing one of her pieces so that she could get to a more important one of mine. She actually said that...sacrifice...I sh!t. When I asked her why she wanted to do that, she said that she was, "determined to win." Determined. You can't make this sh!t up.
She knows that certain pieces are more valuable and others more expendable...she's figured out that knights rick so much because they can jump over pieces, and the other ones can't...she calls the King, "fat, slow, old and lazy." She's awesome. The best part is that she comes looking for you to play...wouldn't my buddy Keith adore this little brilliant beast!? Yeah he would.
You know what comes out of her mouth next? "I can't wait to play with everyone else in New York...everyone in the park." WTF? Now if only we could get her interested in making all of the letters in her name the same size when she prints them.