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agree at that age one bad experiance or impression could sour his taste to something for a very long time. Perhaps working to a disadvantage in terms of when the boy decides on his own to take chess seriously. I have three daughters so am all to familiar with emotionally biased opinions ;)
Personally I would prefer to know I am playing with a child as that is clearly a special circumstance and one that requires a delicate approach. I assume anyone I play on this site is 13 or older
Well, nothing beats a human opponent as far as I am concerned, but I would never think of the possibility that I am playing a 4 year old. Maybe next time, just say so in the chat... Hi I am 'name of your kid' dad and today you have the chance to play a 4 year old, if you don't mind. I think once you say that, the opponent has the choice to leave the game, or knows he is playing a youngster. That might make a different. I would play him and I might even leave a piece under-defended, just so he can practice on taking advantage of blunders.
I know it's already been said, but chesskid.com is the perfect answer to this. Get him on there and don't let the trolls ruin chess for your kid.
not to be a buzz killington or anything, but it clearly says in the terms of creating an account that you must be an adult.
also: disable chat.
For myself I would be rather chuffed to play someone so young. So, if your lad wants a game with a polite adult let me know.
Assuming your opponent might be four strikes me as a good rule to adopt, rules of the site notwithstanding.
I agree that the lack of any comback allows abrasive conduct to surface on the internet (and this site has a lot less than many I have frequented down the years) but it also limits the effect of the abrasive behaviour.
I don't know how kidchess approaches behaviour but it surely has rules. It would be interesting to know whether it has managed to create an environment that a parent would like for their child.
Regardless....who are these people taunting? Who taunts? People taunt?
I disagree that four is too young to interact with strangers. Children go to play school and kindergarten at a younger age and school starts at five in some countries. One unpleasant experience does not lead sensibly to the conclusion that we live in a nasty world. The everyday experience of most of us contradicts that notion.
It is a good idea, on the internet, to remember that you may be interreacting with a child. Almost certainly the sender of the taunting messages was a child. My experience has been that a polite response to poor internet behaviour nearly always results in improvement.
I have not visited chesskid.com but it seems like a very good idea and, if you and your son give it a go I would be interested to hear your impressions.
Chesskid.com must be a horrible place to play if it were mostly kids doing the taunting, would it not? Adults can be just as bad if not worse.
No, there is no way to communicate with an opponent on chesskid.com unless you are in the same "group".
I too recommend chesskid.com, I am a coach at a local elementary and enroll all my kids there. They get tactics and chess videos aimed at kids.
There`s tons of kids on here.
Or, possibly, adults with the apparent emotional age of a kid.
I`ve heard many people say they`re age is 9, 12, 11, 13 and a several others. Of cause you have your worthless adult idiots too.
While i'm willing to believe there are young players here, there are also posers too. Gender isn't the only thing they're faking.
Some even fake species, goldendog, andy clifton.....
I am a crab...honest!
My son (age 4; he has a different account) is new to chess. After teaching him how the pieces move and some bare-bones opening principles, we've enjoyed playing together.
He has seen me play chess on the computer and asked if he could too. I created an account for him and sat next to him to supervise a game. He decided which pieces to move and, unsurprisingly, each move he made was worse than the last. Despite this, it was a fun experience for him, until his opponent began sending him hateful, taunting messages about his awful play.
My son reads, understood the gist of the messages, and became very discouraged.
Clearly the biggest short-coming was my own, allowing a four-year old to interact with strangers on the internet. I shouldn't have assumed that supervision would be adequate. Even so, I am disappointed by the uncivil, unsportsmanlike rudeness I witnessed. I'd like to think that chess players on a website such as are more measured than children playing shooting games on an xbox.
I write this message so that 1) other parents can learn from my mistake and 2) to remind everyone to be kind to your opponent, no matter how terrible they play.
But this is exactly who was bad-mouthing your son. After they get off Xbox they play some speed chess online :p
At least, I never imagine an adult is behind those kinds of messages. Could be possible I guess.