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April 4 - Chess Puzzles

HYPOTHESIS: Monthly Chess exercises will breed more familiarity with the game and better ability to plan and strategize

PROCEDURE: Younger subject (Lyric, age 4 and a half) was first tested on being able to name all six chess types. Previous testing revealed he knew 4 of 6 pieces' names. Older subject (Zephyr, age 7 and a half) was tasked to stand behind younger subject and make "it's good" signal if correct (both hands up in the air) or "no good" signal (arms crossed in an x) depending on the answers of younger subject. Results:

RESULT: Younger subject got 5 right and missed only one (the Bishop, admittedly the trickiest piece). This means a 17% increase in knowledge, not bad at all!

Then the Older subject was challenged to a game on the clock and to figure out the following puzzle (from Black's perspective) from Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess: Can you figure out if black is checkmated, and if not, what their move is out of checkmate?

Zephyr's finger is on the black King. This might be tricky!

Zephyr's finger is on the black King. This might be tricky!

RESULT: Older subject DID figure out the answer to the chess puzzle (hint: it doesn't involve fleeing or interposing between the king and the attacking piece) and gave a spirited performance in a loss in the game. But fun was had by all, which in itself is the most important result.