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My kids, 11 and 8, have started learning chess. Is it a good idea to beat them sometimes to discourage them?

Manuela Cardiga
Mar 14, 2018
04:50 P.M.

Dear AmoMama,

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My sons, 11 and 8 years old, have recently started playing chess. They seem to enjoy it, and have become reasonably good. They joined the school team and seem to be making some progress.

They are spending more and more time playing and I am afraid they might become a bit obsessed. I learned to play as a kid with my grandfather who was a great player. He never let me win, which was very frustrating and made me angry. No matter how hard I tried, he always won.

One day I did finally win, and he was so happy and said the true secret to success was never giving up, but I was sick of it all by then.

They like to play against me, and of course, I've always let them win. I am now worried that I may be fueling their egos by letting them win all the time, and becoming arrogant.

Should I continue to let them win? Letting them believe they are actually better players than they really are?

I wonder if it might be better if I beat them, to teach them humility. It might also help to discourage them from this silly obsession with an old game.

Can anyone advise me? Should I let my boys continue to think they are better than me, or teach them their place?

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