Chess Rules

“You can’t move like that,” Ryan said, moving his brother’s pawn back. “Now move the right way or I’ll move for you.”

The two boys, neither a day over ten, sat in the corner of the hectic classroom. Recess was taking place in the classroom due to excessive snow. Ryan and James were huddled over a plastic chessboard.

“The pawn can only move up. Up ‘till you get it to the other side,” Ryan said.

“Why?” James responded.

“Because those are the rules and that’s how we play the game.”

James looked down to the small board to see the squares of black and white. Two different shades of empty. Beneath it was a magnetic pad to hold the pieces in place. He remembered the rules his father had taught them at home. Pawns don’t move like rooks. They certainly didn’t move like kings. Pawns move forward unless they’re claiming another piece. But they weren’t home. The squares were all the same anyways.

“Let me move it or I’ll stop playing,” James said as he moved the pawn to his right, away from his brother’s rook. The magnetic sheet beneath the squares responded the same. It held the piece down with a vigorous tug, indifferent to color or placement of the square. Both boys looked at the pattern break. It irked both of them how one player could try to change the rules of the game.

“Move it back or I’ll tell,” Ryan said. “I’ll tell the teacher! I’ll get you in trouble for cheating.”

“No,” James responded calmly. “We play this way or I don’t play at all.”

“You can’t move like that,” Ryan said, moving his brother’s pawn back. “Now move the right way or I’ll move for you.”

Leave a comment


  1. Love this vignette.

    Wonder if your site has its RSS feeder activated yet? If so, it’s not registering with Google Reader. Would love to subscribe that way.

  2. Hey Laura – Thanks for the comment!

    We’ve added an RSS feed in the right-hand menu, so you should be able to subscribe via Google Reader!

  3. Excellent! Worked like a charm. Glad I won’t miss anything.


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