What I learned trying to keep up with my 4-year-old daughter at chess

Tom Vanderbilt in Nautilus:

ScreenHunter_1938 May. 10 20.50Although it scarcely occurred to me at the time, my daughter and I were embarking on a sort of cognitive experiment. We were two novices, attempting to learn a new skill, essentially beginning from the same point but separated by some four decades of life. I had been the expert to that point in her life—in knowing what words meant, or how to ride a bike—but now we were on curiously equal footing. Or so I thought.

I began to regularly play online, do puzzles, and even leafed through books like Bent Larsen’s Best Games. I seemed to be doing better with the game, if only because I was more serious about it. When we played, she would sometimes flag in her concentration, and to keep her spirits up, I would commit disastrous blunders. In the context of the larger chess world, I was a patzer—a hopelessly bumbling novice—but around my house, at least, I felt like a benevolently sage elder statesmen.

And then my daughter began beating me.

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