The only rule in Chess Club is…

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Actually there are quite a few rules in Chess Club because…well, chess, you know? You can’t be moving your pieces about willy nilly and you can’t be calling the knights “horsies” or the rooks “castles” or the pawns the “lowly peons.”

Can you believe my kid is in Chess Club? This is the part where it would be fun to tell you about how Anya is a chess genius and how she plans to sweep the world’s chess tournaments in 2013, but pretty much she plays a beginner’s chess game with her buddy E. for about half an hour and then runs around chasing balloons. Also, apparently, there may be cookies involved. (No one told me this, or I’d have joined Chess Club, too.) Balloon chasing and cookies aside, I still think it’s pretty cool.


It all started the Thursday afternoon before the school’s Mardi Gras Ball. (If you haven’t read about it, you should. It was a blast! Don’t worry if you missed it; you can join us next year!) I was running around school putting things together to take over the hall for the party, and Anya stumbled upon Chess Club, where three of her friends were engrossed over a game. Anya asked me if she could watch them, and she did. She stayed the whole time, and afterwards she asked me if she could join. And also, could we get a chess board, please?

A few days later, we had this: No Stress Chess. It’s a beginner’s chess game where the players draw cards to determine which piece to move next. Each card also shows you which ways the piece can move. It’s good for learning, but if you already know how to play it’s a bit frustrating; you see a move you could make, but no, you didn’t pick the card for that piece and so you have to move some other piece and then the King runs away and you lose.

Anya has requested to play chess a few times a week since we got the new board. Sometimes we use the cards, and sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we play by the rules, and sometimes we don’t. And that’s okay because even though there are rules in Chess Club, we don’t worry so much about them at home. Please, don’t tell them I still call the pieces horsies and castles and lowly peons. Shhhhhhhhhhh!

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