Sunday, January 25, 2015

Playing chess with Graham

I have never had any difficulty letting Graham win running races, or soccer kicking contests, or anything like that.  Recently we have begun playing chess, and somehow this is different.  The urge to dominate and win is somehow more overwhelming, there is an almost moral compulsion to make the next move that will best allow me to win.

This despite the fact that Graham, like lots of kids on the spectrum, has a difficult time with competition and losing (those who have known me for many years might be thinking: so do you, Cleric), so it really falls to me when playing with him to try not to win and to help him learn to just play better.

Yesterday I did a good job with going slow and pointing out to him threats that might emerge two or three moves in the future if he didn't take action to foil my plans beforehand.  Strategic thinking. Still, by hook or by crook, in time I found myself in a very good position, threatening his king in many ways.  Thankfully, he said he was a little tired and thought we should quit the game for the night, which suited my purposes nicely.

Then, I made a fire and he lay down next to me and put his head on my stomach for a little while. Which was quite nice.

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