My parents were in town this weekend and they spoiled the boys with gifts and games. Justin was fascinated by a magnetic Checker board they bought him. Without knowing the first thing about how to play Checkers, he challenged my mother to a “friendly” game.
I sat next to him and guiding him on how to play the game while (at the same time) reminding my mother that he was only six years old and had never played before. Basically, I told her to “take a dive” and let the kid win. It’s not easy to purposely lose at anything, but my mother was gracious and allowed my son to triple jump her pieces for the win!
The following day, Justin was feeling confidant in his Checkers skills and challenged me to a game as well. In all honesty, I was not able to take my own advice. I am a grown man with a competitive nature, an inability to accept failure, and the Grinch-like heartlessness to cheat against a child when it comes to boardgames. Was I about to lose to a loud-mouth, six year old? Nope. (I tried. I really tried. But, Justin was taunting me verbally and I had to “knock him down a peg.”) Needless to say, I destroyed him.
Since the rules of Checkers have not changed much in the past 100 years, Justin and I took it upon ourselves to add a few updated “allowances” to the game. They are as follows:
1) As long as your finger is on the opponent’s checker, they cannot move it.
2) If your opponent gets up for a glass of water or a pee break, you are allowed to remove two of their pieces from the board. If they don’t notice within 10 seconds of returning to the game, they don’t deserve to have them returned.
3) And finally, “King Me” is the least of your worries. I am introducing the checker piece entitled, the “King Of Pain.” I explained to Justin that if I stack 7 pieces on top of one another, my “King of Pain” can move as many spaces as it wants and in any direction and at any time – red spaces included!!
You may read this and think to yourself, “What kind of a monster can’t let a child win a game of Checkers?” I promise – one or two taunts from a 6 year old and you’ll be reaching for the “King of Pain” as well!!