Mind Games


Fiction / Monday, November 10th, 2008

She: ‘I don’t think we should do it’

He: ‘What are you talking about?’

‘I don’t think we should get Junior started on chess’

‘ummm, he’s 4 years old, and it’s as good a time to start as any – wasn’t that when you started?’

‘Yes, but I fear for what it will do to him.’

‘You have lost it. What can go wrong with learning to play chess?’

‘Well, firstly why are the pieces black and white? and why does white always have the first move? Isn’t that just reinforcing the old cliches? I mean, there is no need to go with black and white.. it could have been anything, and even with black and white, why not give black the first move.. but no. White has to move first. Typical.’

‘You are not serious, are you?’

‘I am, think about it. And then the whole emphasis on everything being black and white. Life is not like that. It’s all shades of gray. But no, they had to show everything as black or white. Where are the gray areas?’

‘…………’

‘And then there is all this violence. Pieces are just killing each other no? No sitting down and talking about it. No diplomacy. It’s cut and thrust from the moment you start. You really think that is what we want our kid to learn?’

‘ And if that’s not enough, there is all the trickery and manipulation inherent in a game such as this. He will be learning to deceive his opponent. No, we are not starting him on chess, and that’s final’.

5 Replies to “Mind Games”

  1. I play chess… and always fancied teaching my children how to play too…I have never thought about it that way…It could be pink and yellow for all I cared. I thought I wouldn’t let them watch Tom and Jerry coz its so violent.But this post. Dont u think its extreme paranoia? Taking it to another level altogether

  2. Extremely interesting angle on chess. My dad is a good player of the game. I could never quite love it. Maybe I was too bothered by the rules. Reading your post, it also occurs to me I might not have liked the starkness of black and white. What I lurved tho’ was the violence.Yessir, absolutely.

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