Halle’s Tia (her Aunt Cristen) gave her a chess set for Christmas this past year and it has been so fascinating to see her develop this keen interest in the game. She is developing quite a knack for the skills involved and can hold her own with Rob for a long drawn out match (I still have yet to beat the girl…)
So when we found out there was a park in Austin that offered knee-high chess every Saturday at Wooldridge Square (in the downtown area at 9th & Guadalupe), we thought it would be fun for her to try her maneuvers against a non-family opponent. It was here that she met up with nine year old Jacob who was checking out the park with his family and was willing to play.
It was so tempting to say ‘watch your queen’ or ‘look what your rook can do’ but this was a special type of spectator sport & parents have to hold their tongues! Still, even without our aid (not like I’d be of much assistance any old way), Halle did excellent and was able to keep her moves in stride with this boy. What a sight to see the looks of intense deliberation on both of their faces as they considered their moves and watched each other’s!
It is too bad that nature started calling for Halle just moments after the game began. Ten minutes into it all, she was squirming around a lot and it was becoming very distracting for her to concentrate. Jacob said he would wait to finish if we excused ourselves to find a potty. But just in case, Halle said “good game” and “thanks for playing” when we left; as we were certain there would be others wanting to play before we would return. It turns out, her ending comments were appropriate because the hike up to the nearest bathroom kept us away a good while, and when we got back a new game had started. Oh well… At least Halle had fun and left in good spirits. We’ll be back again for sure!
In the meantime, I’ll need to work on my own strategy against Halle in order to give her some fair competition and allow her tactics to really develop. Because as it is now, we are not evenly matched. The below are some of my favorite comments from Halle (to me) that have been spoken while she is accomplishing her task of outwitting me at chess:
“You don’t see what’s coming do you”
“It’s all about planning”
“Oh, you saw that” I suprised her by protecting one of my pieces that she would have captured with her next move