“Why do you like chess?” It’s a difficult question for children and adults. We’ve asked this question to hundreds of people and the most common answer is, “I don’t know. It’s fun,” usually said with a shrug of the shoulders.
Children often mention liking our cast of characters, “I love moving Queen Allegra, she’s so fast!” or, “I love moving the knights, gallop, gallop, step to the side.”
But our favorite answer came from a student at our chess club on the Upper East Side: a six-year-old girl who had practiced chess for 3 years and enjoyed playing the game well. When we asked her, “What do you like about chess?” she said without any hesitation,
“I love being strong.”
What other game or sport could let a child experience such a level of real competence? Most sports are too physically involved for children to rival adults, especially in early childhood. But chess is an arena that doesn’t care about age or physicality, and this child was able to experience the confidence that came from that strength.
That’s another reason why we at Chess at Three love chess.