I thank my kids for bringing to life the otherwise boring game of chess. I have never been a chess fan; I don’t think I can do both- think and keep quiet- for minutes together. My little one had already ‘learnt’ how to play, thanks to an eBook on the iPad. Two weeks back at a store when he forced me to buy the game I was terrified that I would now have to play. But this is when going through 2 labors pays off. Having 2 kids who can now play with each other is a big advantage when you want to escape the scene. I convinced my elder one that Chess was a wonderful game and soon she was on board. Since then playing chess has become their favorite pass time and watching them play, mine.
This is how the game looks like (Mr. V. Anand please do not read).
- The game starts with a mini fight on who gets White and who gets Black. Tanisha acts the big sis in most cases and accepts Black.
- Kapil starts aggressively with all his pawns charging forward as if they were all Sunny Paajis from ‘Border’. There is no strategy, just ‘Attack’.
- He then tries to coax his sister to bring a piece to a desired square. “Please bring the queen here. I promise I won’t kill.” He looks at me and gives an evil wink.
- He gets immense pleasure toppling the opponent’s piece. When he gets a chance, the poor piece is knocked off, in style with a ‘Tok’ or “Tadyaaa” sound effect. This most often also displaces at least 4-6 other pieces from the board resulting in another mini fight regarding what was where.
- Tanisha is more caring, she feels sorry when Kapil places his piece in danger. Whenever he makes a dumb move, Tanu confirms “Seriously?”, “Are you sure?” But don’t go by the sweet looks. Sometimes she also takes advantage of this to avoid the perils of a smart move. The moment she asks “Seriously?”, Kapil becomes nervous – starts looking everywhere with a Joey face (Friends) and pleads for an answer “Where?”, “What?” , “Tell me.”
- Kapil’s knights are as confused as he is. They know they need to go in a ‘L’ but sometimes it’s a short L, sometimes it’s a long. He prefers to move them only after all other pieces have been lost.
- While the pieces kill each other recklessly, the kings are completely ignored. It amuses me to see the king go in check, come out of check multiple times in a game without the knowledge of any player. Then sometimes Tanisha has a Eureka moment when she realizes Kapil's king has been lonely and unprotected all the while and puts the 'check'.
- Generally however the game ends in a stale mate since while trying to kill each other’s pieces the kings are the only two pieces left.
I know you’ll say this is not how you play the game. Where’s the strategy, the rules, the intelligence, the diplomacy? I don’t think that’s necessary – yet. If not now, when else can they play innocently like children, without the rules, without having to worry of the consequences? This is not life. This is their childhood. They are having fun and that's all that matters. Don't believe me ? Take a look (http://youtu.be/pB2rAgnpB4E)