Lil D loves a challenge. D Daddy taught her well when it comes to being competitive- she can do the trash talk, can revel in victory and be gracious in defeat (though that happens less and less often these day).
She also wants to find as many games to beat her aunties at as possible!
So. Papa got a chess board for Christmas. Papa loves a crossword and claims to understand chess, yet he has had nine months to prove his skill and somehow avoided it. Which is why it’s good to have dotes around- they will always want to try the new thing in the house.
Shortly after Christmas we experimented. Lil GN loved the idea, but decided that rules don’t really matter when all the cool little figures could have a battle on the board. So we played something, just not chess. Lil C had no interest (much too busy making the other dotes laugh). Lil D wanted to try it for real, but it was a little complex for her to keep inside her head.
Last weekend, a nasty cold put my energy levels low and Lil D suggested we try chess again. Boy what a difference a half year makes to a dote’s tactical understanding. Firstly we played a warm up game or two of draughts- where she obliterated me basically single handedly. I’m no expert but really?!
Then came the main event.
The room watched.
D Daddy and I explained the rules, how the pieces move, how she sometimes needs to think ahead for her moves.
And then (with a little help from the audience) Lil D patiently took my pieces from the board and had my king in check fairly swiftly. It was all downhill for my dreams of chess glory after that, and with some glee Lil D earned the right to say checkmate.
Ahh… well done Lil D, well done.