We started playing chess with him just before he turned six. Well, when I say "we", I mean I delegated the task to Joe, since I suck at chess. Badly. In fact, that has been the fun of it. Joe taught Will, who picked it up easily. Will taught me the rules, and continues to remind me of them to this day. We'll play, and it is a win-win for all. Those who are watching as Will roundly beats me are delighted. I am delighted (which is weird, because normally I hate losing). And, of course, Will is stoked.
The chess set we have is missing some of its cheap, plastic pieces. Instead of kings, we have Skylanders Giants. They are too fat and unwieldy for the board, but this adds to the amusement of all parties.
The only bad part about it is Will's reaction to losing, which has happened exactly twice. It would seem all this winning has made him downright averse to not winning! During that infamous game I charged forward and with a haphazard-to-nonexistent strategy. He'd laughed pretty hard and pointed out the futility of several of my moves, right up until my knight was checkmating him, or whatever it's called. Then, stuff got real. He wanted a re-do. He begged to break the rules. I told him I was sorry, but we'd play again after I won. After all, he'd taught me everything I knew and beaten me dozens of times and it was my first win ever! He swept the board and ran away, shouting about the injustice.
Tonight, I beat him for the second time ever (pure luck, I assure you, and also, the fact that he blurts out advantageous move possibilities for his opponents that I'd never even considered). He took it in stride. Now that he may be at a maturity level where he can deal gracefully with the outcome of a game, I think we'll ask him if he wants to join a club.