“Nanny”  said my 6 year old grandson Ethan, “Can we have a game of Chess?”

I’m always up for a Chess game.  Dad started to teach me Chess when I was about 5 or 6, and I still use the same board and pieces that we used back in the 1960s and early 1970s. Dad never let me win, although I suffered (and so did he I expect) many meltdowns as a result.  Mum would implore him to let me win, but he always stood firm and replied that letting me win would do me no good at all.   Okay I never beat Dad, but when I was 12 I did beat my uncle.  I felt like dancing around the room, and so did Dad!


I taught my two boys to play, which helped Leon no end with his concentration.  I never let them win either, and by the time they were teenagers they took great delight in beating me fair and square at the odd game or five.

Marc has now started to teach Ethan.  So on Sunday when they came to lunch Ethan and I sat down at the Chessboard and started to play.  My daughter-in-law hovered by my right shoulder, expecting me to let Ethan win.  However, I had no intention of doing so, as I realised my dad had been right.  Letting Ethan win would do him no good at all.

The meltdown came when he was left with three pawns and a king.  He stomped off and announced he was not going to play anymore.  Memories came flooding back of myself doing exactly the same thing and Dad quietly packing up the Chess pieces and putting them back in the box.

I picked up the Chess pieces and put them back in the box.   What goes around comes around!

Would you let your six year old win, or do you think that letting them win would do them no good at all?