I was understandably touched when she came to me the next day wishing to play chess. “Of course!” I replied. “Great,” she said. “Here are the rules.”
She handed me a packet of papers, and at the top of the first she had written, “Plastic Animal Chess.” Below this was an enumeration of the kinds of pieces to be used (with blanks where we would record which plastic animals would be the stand-ins for each type), along with what each kind of piece does.
“This is complicated, Honey,” I wondered aloud, worried it would be far too difficult for her — and me. There were, by the end of her four hand-written pages, 10 distinct piece types and 18 pieces in all. “Chess only has six types, and it is already immensely difficult!” I said.
But more than my fright at the complexity of her game was another reaction, this one in my gut. Wasn’t there something mildly wrong about this new game of hers? Chess is a revered institution. What kind of heretic plays chess once and immediately presumes to do better?
Sunday, April 24, 2011
When Ignorance is a Virtue
Eight year old reinvents chess. There's a deep and meaningful message here.
Posted by The Closet Grandmaster at 11:12 am