Chess-playing 8-year-old runs circles around his mom

I’m pretty sure my offspring are smarter than me … or at least they are smarter than I was at the age they are now.

They have the book smarts, but when it comes to sneaking out after curfew, I’m certain I could teach them a thing or two (although I never learned how to not get caught or grounded for a decade).

Case and point, my 8-year-old just schooled me in the game of chess.

Chess. Really?

My dad taught me to play chess when I was … well, younger than I am now, but I wasn’t 8 and I never won.

I have gone the usual, “typical” route with my sons, “Hey! Basketball sign-ups are this week. Are you playing?”

They are, and they are excited, but when my third-grader came home with a note from the school about Chess Club, he was ecstatic: truly, honestly, bonafide ecstatic. I was left scratching my head.

“Chess. Do you even know what chess is?”

“Yes and I want to go to Chess Club. It starts this week.”

He reminded me over and over and over, “Don’t forget to pick me up after Chess Club. If I don’t get off the bus, that is where I will be!”

“Oookkkaaayyy …,” I said thinking he truly would not be interested and how in the world would an 8-year-old ever grasp the concept of this game?

Again, I tried my typical route, “Hey! Next week is Meet the Coach Night for hoops!”

“It isn’t at the same time as Chess Club, is it?” my son replied with alarm on his face.

OK, so maybe my son has found His Game, albeit not on a field or court; or, maybe it is a fleeting moment in time and another game will soon replace chess.

But in the meantime, he is learning and he is teaching what he learns to (ahem) me, and his younger brother.

Granted, my younger son would rather set up the chess board and have an all-out war instead of follow the rules and play the game, but nonetheless, he’s hanging out with his big brother and “kinda-sorta” paying attention.

Put the Princess down for a nap and this is an hour of vacation time for Mommy!

For all I know — or remember — about chess, my son could be making up the rules.

“The knights can move in an L-formation, and only the bishop can only move diagonally.”

Sure. That sounds good.

One thing we have all learned, though, like most board games, chess should not be played while in the presence of a 3-year-old with sticky fingers and an affinity for knocking things over.

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