Toddler Chess Part 2: The Balancing Act

Right now, I’m kicking myself, and hoping I haven’t killed my son’s interest in chess.

The irony is that earlier today I complained to my teacher that he was “teaching to the top of the class.” We have some students with heavy programming backgrounds, and those of us who don’t have technical backgrounds occasionally feel left in the dust.

I went home–a whole 3 hours after that conversation?—and proceeded to do exactly what I had just complained about….with my own children.


Teaching my daughter is effortless and instantaneously rewarding. Two games ago, she learned to think one move ahead. Now she’s able to occasionally think 2 moves ahead. I don’t care who you are–that’s exciting to watch! (Shut up and agree.)

Cece Chess

Deep concentration.

While basking in the glory of that satisfying “my kid is a genius” delusion–I missed the cues that my son was getting bored.

I didn’t mean to play favorites. In general, I try to delude myself equally about the genius of both of my children.

Still, it’s infinitely more satisfying to teach a patient 5-year-old than a squirmy 2-year-old.

To quote my classmate Diego, “Don’t judge me.”

I love my little boy, but sometimes he can be a Wild Bohemian Land Shark. (You’ll understand when you meet him.)


Wild Bohemian Land Shark at play.

That being said, I meant to spend time with both of my children, and I’m not ready to give up on Daniel’s chess career just yet.

I’m declaring tomorrow Land Shark Day.

Tomorrow, I’m busting out the Knights and the sound effects, and hoping to get my son back on board.

(“Clickity clickity clack, red-hee-hee!”)




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