Ever since we introduced Uno to 宝贝 during the Gold Coast Trip, she’s been playing it regularly. We started playing it with her so that she could learn colour and number matching. However, she’s far exceeded our expectations by trouncing us regularly with her draw 2, reverse, skip, draw 4 cards. Believe me, when she dealt the special cards, she actually did it with a relish and evil laugh.
I decided to introduce her to the world of chess. I wanted to start off with checkers, but I wasn’t unable to dig it out of our disorganized boxes (many were unpacked since we moved in…. 1.5 years back…).
While browsing in a bookshop, I came across a set of animal chess, which cost a very affordable $3.90. Huh?! Now still have such cheap games arh! Mai tu Liao! Buy lor!!
She was on her best behavior that day. So I rewarded her with a present – the animal chess set.
It was easy enough to match the pieces to the pictures on the mat. What wasn’t so simple was to explain the rules to a 3 year old!
1. The ranking of the animals by size. The bigger one can “eat” the ones that are smaller than it. The only exception is the mouse – it can kill the mighty elephant (by climbing into its truck n tickle it to death :p).
2. The pieces can only move one step at a time, to the adjacent square.
3. The Mouse is the only piece that has the ability to move into the water areas.
4. The Lion and Tiger pieces can leap across the banks of the river, unless the Mouse is in the river, in the line of the leap.
5. If a piece ends up in the opponent’s trap, no matter how large it is, even the smallest piece can gobble it up.
6. The game ends when you move your piece into the opponent’s den.
6 simple rules. But oh so difficult to get it across to her. I decided to just play and teach along the way. I ate up so many of her pieces that she started looking like this.
So I sacrificed some pieces to retain her interest in the game. She won in the end. Although she wasn’t able to remember all the rules, but at least she’s remembered the ranking of the animals and she was very tickled that the mouse could eat up the huge elephant. She liked having her mouse swim in the river too.
Not too bad for the 1st time. There’s still a chance that she may turn out to become an expert animal chess player. We fell off our seats when she defeated us in UNO, even when we didn’t intentionally lose to her.
But for now, she remains as an animal chess noob. I must eat up her pieces while I still can. :p