Sunday Afternoon in a High School Cafeteria

My youngest son 'warms up' before the first match of the chess tournament he's in today.

My youngest son ‘warms up’ before the first match of today’s chess tournament.

Chess must skip a generation.

I’m not a chess guy. But my sons are. They like it and they’re fairly good at it.

They don’t seem to be future grandmasters or anything but at young ages they were already beating me. Sadly though, that’s not saying much.

I’m intrigued by the things my sons are good at that I’m not, like chess and soccer and remembering almost everything they ever read or hear.

I find it’s like studying another culture, observing the differences between my children and me. I’m very curious as to how their minds work, thinking several moves ahead in a chess match, for example.

One of the more challenging parts of having children as chess aficionados is the tournaments. It’s one thing to watch your kid’s hour-long soccer game. You’re outside, there’s lots of action, and in 60 minutes everyone’s having snacks and juice boxes.

Chess tournaments, on the other hand, are several hours long, you wait in a high school cafeteria (sometime on beautiful fall days!), and for a non-chess person the idea of ‘action’ doesn’t really come up. But you focus on the good things happening to your offspring and life quite happily goes on.

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