The other day we went to a friend’s house and my children discovered a Lord of the Rings chess game. Anna pulled it out and asked me to remind her how to play. I coached her through a game and she did quite well. I had taught her the rules some time ago, so it wasn’t brand new.
However, what I didn’t expect was Lucas to, first of all, be interested in the actual rules of the game, and secondly that he would stay focused enough to stick with it. I mean it is Lord of the Rings themed, which is super fun, but throughout the entire game that I was coaching Anna, I was noticing that he was following along quite well.
On the way out the door, our friend decided to just give us the game because they didn’t really have an interest in it. So, as soon as we got home, Lucas and Anna played a game together. What impressed me the most was that Lucas not only understood the rules without me actually directly telling them to him, but he also understood the concept of sacrificing a piece to be accomplish a different objective. That seems like an abstract concept to me.
Later, Lucas and Micah wanted to play a game, too. Micah really just liked the Lord of the Rings pieces and wanted them to fight. It was a bit frustrating for them to play together because they kept calling to me from the other room saying, “Dad…he’s not playing right!”
Or, “You can’t do that!”
“Yes, I can!”.
On one such occasion Lucas came in and was trying to give me the full description of what was happening. I bent down and said, “Lucas, Micah isn’t really ready to play this game and really just wants to pretend fight with the pieces.” Lucas immediately nodded his head, ran back out to the room and completely switched modes to just making up rules and fighting with the pieces. I thought it was a pretty amazing transition.
At this point, both Anna and Lucas really need some coaching, but I’m very impressed at their interest in this game.