My new neighbors have a 2 years 10 months old kid. When he come to visit me, he often see me playing chess online. So he kept asking me, how to play this.
I got a plastic chess set and he opened it and grabbed the knight and screamed "duck, duck!"
I was kinda surprised that a two years old can recognize ducks, he's from Syria, he left Syria because of the war there so there's no ducks there. I told him, it's not a duck, it's a horse. He knew what a horse is. he seems very interested in chess.
So I decided to try the same educational experiment that László Polgár did.
But I'm having some difficulties. The kid is not in school yet, he doesn't know how to read and write, he can't speak English and the names of the pieces are too hard for him. I've been trying to teach him chess for less than a week. I met him last week, started teaching chess the very next day :)
So far he know what's a knight and he call it a horse. He know what's a pawn and I told him it's called grandpa. He knows what a king is and he call it a king, I decided that the word king is too hard for him and I told him that it's called dad. He didn't yet memorized the rook, he call it uncle. I am going to tell him that the queen is mom and the bishop is bob or cat.
I noticed that he uses the shape. He first memorized the horse, because it has a very unique shape. Then he memorized the pawn, because it's the smallest piece on the board, then the king because it has a cross. It's hard for him to see the difference between a queen and a bishop.
- I was thinking of buying another chess set, one with superman and batman instead of real pieces. Is it a good idea or should I stick with the real pieces?
- Is it good practice to change the names of the pieces in order to help memorize them?
- If we keep at this pace, I think I can make him memorize every piece in a week or two, and next month I want to teach him the starting position, and two months after that, I want to start teaching him how the pieces move. Am I going too fast on him? Can his brain understand all this that quickly.
- Is he considered smart for his age, or is it normal for kids of his age to start understanding what I'm teaching him?