We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
If there is any better mental training, or any better test of training and intellect than Chess, I don't know what it is.
(Other than real life, of course. Mastering the vicissitudes, raw deals, unfairnesses, subtleties, luck, and challenges of real life is the real test. Of course, dealing one's own personal limitations is a big part of that game.)
A friend of mine with three young kids recently banned all electronic and computer games from the house. "Enough stupid crap in this house." He announced that they would henceforth play Checkers, Chess, Backgammon, Poker, Mille Bournes, Euchre, or Hearts in the house - and that he would give each kid one game every night.
He's been working on Fritz though, to make sure he can stay ahead of them, and his eldest (9 years old) requested a Chess tutor. But even Fritz is banned for the kids. "I want them to play a real human, to learn to read them and their game."
"I want them to play a real human, to learn to read them and their game."
When it comes to computer Chess games, this complaint is well founded. Give me a few hours with ol' Fritzy and I'll be able to beat him every time. Unlike humans, computer Chess games can be tricked and buffaloed every which way from Sunday.
"Here, nice computer, want to trade my 5-point rook for your 3-point bishop? No problem! Hey, about about trading my queen for your knight and two pawns? Such a deal! And oh, by the way, nice computer -- checkmate, suckah!
They get so wrapped up in point values that they simply can't see themselves being blindsided.
So, good on the dad. The kids'll be far better off.
Poker. I'm quite certain I knew a full house before I could ride a bike. You've got the math, strategy, reading folks, and especially the camraderie. Make it real: We played for pennies at the start, and when we had our paper routes, dimes and quarters. And play for keeps. It's not Candyland out there.