I’m not even sure how it happened, but I launched a Chess game on my computer. It must have been one of those gaps like during those two days before and after the All Star Game where not a single professional sport is being played. I had ten minutes where I could sit down and do anything I wanted. The dishwasher was running, dinner was in the oven, the laundry was either drying or spinning, the baby napping and it’s pissing down rain. I poured a little cup of wine and sat down at the computer. I launched my very first game of Chess. I haven’t played Chess in a very, very, very long time. Everyone has their story where they played Chess with “person X” and won and “person X” got pissed so they never played again. Let’s just say, I’ve forgotten all the rules to Chess and it’s been a long, long time since I’ve played. Not two minutes into my quiet nirvana did Otto walk by and magnet himself to my side. It was my turn and I went to move the little horsey (or Cavalier as they say in French). The computer kept putting me back to my original spot because I made an illegal move. I tried it again, but was interrupted by Otto who exclaimed, “NO! you can’t move like that. It’s Cah-Vah-Yeah.” He did this and gestured two squares vertically and one square horizontally for each syllable. In a very Bourne moment, I thought. “Holy Crap! My son knows how to play Chess.” Little did I know that Otto is learning how to play Chess at school. He absolutely loves it. We don’t pay much attention to it and let him have fun with the game of Chess in what ever form he chooses.
In an earlier post I noticed that our nearest big Cité, Condom, hosts an international Chess tournament as well as an international Chess marathon. I’m not sure if he’ll ever get to that stage, but Condom is close enough and they have a great boulongerie. Not two minutes after my ten minutes, Otto whipped together a Lego chess board. He’s been kicking bottom playing against anyone who is up for the challenge. The most important advice I can share with you is : If you’re playing Chess (or any game) with Otto, his rules are somewhat slippery. Just when you think you’ve got the upper hand, he’ll whip out some fine print and knock you down. You don’t stand a chance. This is always great T.V. for those viewing at home, but for the opponent, it’s but a Chessboard toss away from Otto never playing Chess again.
Once again, I marvel at his artistic abilities. I know it’s viewed through parental glasses, but, damn! that kid can sang!