This is chapter one of the book “The Kingdom of Chess” written by my oldest 11-year son Jairus.
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Today is Saturday, the best day of the week, which happens to be the best month of the year! Why? Two words – Summer Holidays!! I immediately woke up at sharp 6:00 am and brushed my teeth. I walked over to the dining table in the kitchen. Dad was outside, tending the garden. I sat down and ate my cereal. After I ate my cereal, my mom called out, “Paul, go and help your father in the garden.” “Okay, Mom” I replied. After helping Dad, I went to play with my friend Danny who lives close to us. Danny is my best friend; we’re inseparable. I always talk to him about my feelings, and he gives me sound advice. He’s a good friend. After playing with Danny, I started back home. After I reached home, I sat on the couch with a glass of water in my hand.
After a few moments, my Dad, who was in his Study, called me and said, “Hey Paul, come here. I want to show you something.” I walked into the room and saw Dad with a broad grin across his face, holding a small rectangular box in his hands. I asked him, “What is it, Dad?” “This is a chess set, Paul, that I bought for you.” My eyes widened. I had watched people on T.V. playing chess tournaments. I always wanted to see an actual chess set. After my Dad explained the rules of the game to me, it took me a while to understand, but I eventually got the hang of it. Dad and I decided to play a match together. Since my father was a pro, he obviously won. I expected that. He said that I need to come up with a smart strategy to win the game. I tried and tried until I thought I finally had a good plan in mind, but since I was too excited, I failed to use it in the right way. So, my Dad won again. I sighed, “Seriously? Do I have to put my queen in front of the elephant?
Though it was getting late, I practiced a lot that evening. When I felt more confident, I approached my Dad and requested him for a re-match once we finished with dinner. He seemed a bit exhausted but still agreed for only one match. I used my new strategy, and to my surprise, I won the game! I suspect though, that my Dad let me win to encourage me to play more.
Did I mention that I have two sisters and one brother? I’m the oldest, aged 11 yrs old. I like dogs, but I hate cats. I’ve been chased by cats all the time. I know it’s ridiculous, but I’ve heard stories of cats scratching people and those people getting like 15 shots. Shots – just NOT my thing. I am terrified of shots.
I’ve been practicing playing chess for a few days now. I enjoy playing it all the time and even play chess with Danny when we meet up. I’m mesmerized by that game! I imagine chess to be two kingdoms who want to conquer each other. All the pieces on the chessboard turn into human creatures with the same powers they had as the wooden pieces. So, the elephant will become human but still has a straight move. The same rules apply, but what I’m trying to say is that I think chess is not like any other ordinary game. I feel like it’s – Magical!
It’s now Thursday. I’m going to miss my best friend because he’s gone on a family vacation trip. Now, since I have more free time, I decided to finish building my toy airplane out of Balsa wood. It took me a while to do so, but soon enough, I finished constructing the body of the toy plane. Since Balsa wood is a light material, the shape of the airplane was light to help it glide. I wanted the wings to be broad and long, but not as long as the body of the plane. So, I did that too. I remember seeing people make toy airplanes by curving the tip of the wings slightly upward. So, I tried the same technique. I gave it some final touches by adding the tail and a few other details. It looks great, but I still feel like something is missing. Oh, I have to paint it! I painted the body blue and red because blue is my favorite color. I painted the wings red and the tip of the wings bright yellow.
At last, I completed constructing my wooden toy airplane! I had a few cuts and bruises from using some sharp tools, but I was glad that all that hard work paid off. I definitely felt relieved and tired, so I thought this is the perfect time for a good afternoon nap.
I woke up at 3:00 pm while everyone was still asleep. The weather was nice, so I decided to take a stroll outside. I left a note for my parents so that they wouldn’t get worried. It was a beautiful afternoon; the birds chirruped loudly, and the wind played with the leaves on the ground. While I was walking, a sparkle caught my eye. I plodded up to it and was stunned to see unique chess set on a table with chairs around. I looked around but saw no one, so I considered checking it out. But as soon as I opened the chessboard, I got a strange feeling. I felt like everything around me started swirling, and my chest was pounding. Soon I lost my balance and collapsed on the ground. Then everything thing went blank.