February 4, 2019
When we first started getting our kids involved in chess, I don’t think we realized what a big part of our lives it would become. Our oldest son, Jack, first asked to learn to play when he was about 8. Scott taught him the basics, but neither Scott or I play proficiently, so it became pretty clear that we would need to find a chess coach if this was a game Jack truly wanted to master. Molly, who was in Kindergarten at the time, was in a phase where she wanted to do everything her big brother did, so she insisted on learning the game as well.
Fortunately for us, we were able to find the kindest, most patient chess coach in the entire world. Seriously, I think this man must be a saint because teaching small kids to play chess can be a frustrating endeavor. We would know, Scott and I volunteered at our local library to run a chess club for kids before we moved to Jefferson City. Hiring Mr. Campbell was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. Now, three and a half years later, Jack and Molly still attend chess lessons weekly. They’ve competed in both state and national competitions. The world of scholastic chess is far bigger than we had initially assumed and it has been a great experience for our whole a family getting to meet new players from across the country at these events.
Beau, our youngest son, is five, and although he can’t compete until he starts Kindergarten next year, Molly has taken it upon herself to teach him the fundamentals. She’s a little teacher at heart and I love watching her use her gifts to teach her little brother a new skill. While Beau is a long way off from understanding all the rules, it’s been fun seeing him take an interest in the game his older siblings devote so much time to. We’ve been exposing Beau to the world of chess from the beginning, he goes to all the tournaments with us, and he cannot wait until it’s his turn to actually compete.
Speaking of tournaments, we’ll be in Nashville in May for the National Elementary Championship and we cannot wait! I’m sure I will be sharing tons of photos from our trip, but in the meantime, enjoy these sweet photos of Molly’s “lesson” with Beau over the weekend!