I pitched the idea to M out of the blue: “We should learn to play chess!” He was sort of nonplussed. He’s not a huge fan of abstract games, but he was willing to hear me out. “The problem is,” I continued, “You can’t really learn the game unless you play it a lot. So we should play at least once a week, every week, for a year. It can be your anniversary present to me!”
“Okay, but you have to play one non-chess game with me once a week, every week.”
M may not like abstract games, but he loves a challenge–as well as any way to get me to spend more time playing board games with him!
It seems like the kind of idea that’s great in theory but terrible in practice, but it turns out that chess is the perfect game to play while watching TV! It’s very visual and doesn’t require much talking or reading of text, the pace is slow, and you don’t necessarily have to pay attention while your opponent thinks about what to do next. Especially as beginners with only a rudimentary understanding of the rules, it’s good to be able to spend a long time thinking about your next set of moves without feeling like your opponent is getting bored!
The best thing is, it gives us something to do together while watching TV instead of each being on our phones. (Just writing that makes me realize how depressing it sounds, but it’s an easy habit to fall into!) It may have started as a whim, but I’m very excited for what could possibly be the best anniversary gift ever!