Chess Prodigies

Before I start please let me say this, I don't think all children are pretentious little shits! Only those who've mercilessly beaten me.

I have witnessed grown men quake with fear at the prospect of playing 'Chess Prodigy'. These kid's make the game look so easy, they take all of fifteen minutes to crush you in a line you've played all your life!

During that 15 minutes, they've spent only five minutes at the board, the other ten were spent playing on their Gameboy, staring at the ceiling, cracking their chewing gum and yawning.

Chess prodigy takes many forms, a snot covered youth, a creature barely able to fasten their shoelaces, some so small they need the aid of a cushion to queen their pawns (with chocolate covered fingers) little soiled creature's who parade the contents of previous meals on their clothing.

How can those little mini-me's kick our adult (sophisticated, cultured, wiser, mortgage paying) asses so easily? Don't they realize who we are? Most of them weigh less than my chess set! How can they show such disregard for their elders? 

It's a no win situation, beat 'Chess Prodigy' they'll say you should have, lose to 'Chess Prodigy' they'll say you shouldn't have, either way there ain't no kudos.

How can one overcome this adversary?

It's a difficult one to answer, you could try to distract them by talking about 'Harry Potter' or start a "my dad's better than yours" argument, tell them that Santa Claws doesn't really exist, quote FIDE's 'new' ruling whereby all under 10's start a bishop down!

Take a look at the following position....

If I, (know when I'm beaten adult) were playing white in this position, I'd have resigned 25 moves, 50 minutes and two pints earlier.

The position is a mate in 1, and it's me (black) to play, I know it and he knows it's #1, but no resignation, was forthcoming, I had twenty minutes left on my clock, so as a punishment for dragging the game out It was my intention to visit the bar, the toilet, and look at all of the other games left in progress, use up 19 minutes, calmly take my seat and deliver checkmate with seconds to spare!

Unfortunately as I got up to start his punishment he stuck his little hand out and resigned.

1-0 to the 'codger's'.

Later in the season I was a little anxious to learn I'd be playing the very same 'CP' The return match saw 'CP' get revenge.

I (white) have a slight advantage, but after a particularly hard day at work fatigue was taking it's toll on me, (excuseometer reading = 8/10) should I offer a draw now?

No, I'd spotted a tactic... surely I can win a pawn here with 36.Rxb7?? I'll offer a draw now and he must accept, (36...Qxb7 37.Qxe5) I can go home and get to bed. No sooner had the piece left my hand when I spotted the major flaw in my combo..... 'Oh no...don't play Re1+, don't play Re1+' The reply to my draw offer was "No thank you" followed by, you guessed it 36...Re1+..."OH CRAP!"

I resigned immediately as I've just lost a Rook!

This particular 'CP' is a few years older, taller and better now, and I'm happy to say has turned out to be a thoroughly decent young man.  Given the correct coaching, support from parents and enthusiastic teachers surely all kids have the potential to be 'Chess Prodigies'?