This Christmas visit, my 11-year-old nephew, Brandon, introduced me to the game of chess. Brandon is a very patient teacher, he explains details well and, he knows when to teach more about strategy as I progress.
We’ve played a total of three games so far in the past five days. Each game, I find one more of Brandon’s pieces in my collection, which speaks to my progress. Naturally, Brandon beats me each time.
While we’re playing, I consult my notes that I took during my first lesson. To help me remember the names of the pieces and how they’re allowed to move around the board, I speak out loud: “This is my Bishop and I can move diagonally any amount of spaces.” I’ve asked Brandon to do the same, which I have found very helpful.
During a crucial juncture in today’s game, I scrutinized all the pieces around me before I made my move. “Okay, if I move my Knight here,” I say with confidence, “your Bishop will take me.”
“That’s correct, Aunt Sandi”, Brandon encourages.
“If I move my Rook here, your Knight will take me here.”
“Very good, Aunt Sandi,” Brandon smiles.
Hmmm…and…if I move my Knight here, your King will take me there.”
“That’s RIGHT, Aunt Sandi,” Brandon concurs, proud of his protégé.
Feeling supremely confident that I’d protected myself from all directions, I make my move.
Then, Brandon makes his move. Before I even know what’s happening, my Queen has been snagged. “Whaaaaaaaaa….? NO! NOOOO! NOT MY QUEEEEEN!” I cry out in mock horror. “What the heck happened?”
“You were paying too much attention to my Knight and the other pieces to see that you were in peril by a pawn,” Brandon asserts.
He continues. “That means ‘pay attention to the little details in life ’cause they may not be so little after all’.”
I told you Brandon was a wonderful teacher.