While searching for some stuff, I and my 5 year old nephew, Harjas came across dad’s chess game. The one liner description of the game was to keep one’s king safe. And this was quite a happening idea for someone growing up with stories of “Chotta Bheem”. So this “new game” holds all his interest these days. And being the only idler around, I have to play with or rather teach him this brain game. No other game has been able to divert his attention since he has discovered the precious treasure of kings, queens, pawns, rooks, bishops and knights.
We decided to begin step by step and therefore after the introductions with the pieces, the first lesson was how to deal with pawns. How to march them ahead and how to strike blows to the opponent? And we have not been able to make much progress beyond this lesson.
Now every day, the chess board is duly set up and all we do is move the pawns and strike them dead. No other piece on the board can participate till I have a single pawn left. No, I cannot attack his pawns. And no, I cannot defend my pawns. I have to deliberately put them in his path.
Sometimes, I really want to make a move … play the game … but the thought of keeping dad’s beloved chess board safe stops me.
Today we decided to progress beyond this routine. So, my mother decided to partner with Harjas. The result was quite a tolerable progress in the game. He happily sacrificed his rook and bishop and even succeeded in removing my knight from the board, though pawns were still his favourite both for moving forward and for letting go.
I asked him, “If you keep on sacrificing all your pawns, how are you going to save your king. They are the protection walls; they are the ones that keep your king safe.”
He nonchalantly replied, “Oh, I am not worried about my king being safe at all.”
I curiously enquired again, “Why is that so?”
I was stunned by his response. Innocently and candidly, I was told, “What harm can come to my king, as long as his queen lives.”
A look at the life through the eyes of the baby …