Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Chess Player

So I'm at the bookstore ringing up customers' purchases and this lovely middle-aged woman comes up to the counter with a little boy and girl in tow. They plop their books in front of me and I notice these two:

"He picked his book out by himself." she said to me, pointing at the darling little boy.

I hold up the book for beginners.

"You are going to learn how to play chess?" I ask him.

"No. The other one is for me." he solemnly says.

I look at the Bobby Fischer book and then at his grandmother.

"He wants the Bobby Fischer book?"

"Yes, He picked it out himself."

I studied this serious little guy for a minute.

"How old are you?" I ask.

"Four." He says. But he is a very very small four year old. I wish I had my camera but I did not, but to give you some idea, here is a photo I found on the web of a child approximately this little guy's size:

I ask, "Well, who is the beginner book for?"

"Me." Grandmother says, sheepishly. "I figure if he can learn so can I."

I ring up their books and ask the boy, "Are you familiar with Bobby Fischer?"

"Yeah. I like his moves."

"Which is your favorite move of his?"

He studies me for a second and I can see a twinkle in his eye.

"Winning." he answers.

"Mine too. "I tell him.

I don't know what you were doing at four years old, but I can promise you, I was not playing chess.


  1. I've always thought that chess was stupid, and being in a mining town at that age I'm sure I didn't even know what it was back then.

    Besides, after a certain age chests have always been more interesting than chess. Never mind.

  2. Hahahaha!!! Never mind is right! :)

    You know, come to think of it, I probably didnt know what it was either, when I was four.

  3. What a lovely moment you had...and what a character that kid is. I am so impressed by his grandmother though. it takes a ot of guts to be open-minded to any age but especially as we get older. Life long learning!

    Dear Beej, I hope you have a wonderful new Years Eve and the coming year brings to focus all your dreams and wishes. Good health, lots of fun and lots of new opportunities to learn and love and adventures. I am so glad to know you and for the influence you have in my life.

    much love,
    Candy xxxoooo

  4. Oh Candy, you made me cry. You have no way to know how that touched my heart. I love you too, my darling friend.

  5. Your post prompted me to think about the fantastic 1993 film Searching for Bobby Fischer. Fischer was one strange dude by the way, but then it must be really difficult to be a prodigy in any field. He was once asked how he thought he would do in a chess match with God, and Fischer suggested that if he played white and used the Ruy Lopez opening, the best God could do was a draw.

    I can't imagine coping with expectations of high level excellence when you really want to go hack around with your buddies and a soccer ball.

  6. I think I was playing with my teddy bears at 4....I still hadn't discovered vodka at that time...;-)

    Have a great night babe

    Love n hugs

    4D x

  7. Happy New Year... Be safe and sane this evening, whatever in the hell sane is.

  8. Thanks y'all. As a matter of fact, I am sitting in tonight, keeping watch to make sure the rest of y'all make it into 2010 :)

    As a mom, I can't help but be concerned for my kids, tho; I worry about drunk drivers.


Go ahead, you can do it! Just whistle if you want me. You know how to whistle, don't you? You just put your lips together and BLOW....

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