The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A lesson in Chess

This post is a little delayed. I had meant to write it on the day it occurred: 23rd July 2010.

On that day, Ainan played his fourth game of chess with me. It was his ninth game, or so, in all his life. He wasn't exactly what you would call an experienced player.

Shockingly, he beat me. Now, I say "shockingly" because in the first three games I had played with him, I beat him, easily...I absolutely trounced him. This is not surprising since I am more than four times his age and, though not a chess player, I had at least played it more often than him, in my life. Somehow, in just nine games of play, he had learnt enough about the game to beat me.

Now, you might think this a fluke, but I have played him twice since – and on both those occasions, too, he totally routed me.

It must be borne in mind, that I am not an experienced chess player, however. Yet, the fact is I am an adult and not a dumb one, either. It is not to be expected, therefore, that Ainan could beat me at chess, after so few games. Yet, he does.

No doubt there are child players out there, more experienced than Ainan, who could beat him. However, I think it a mark of how quickly he learns that he can go from being trounced by me to beating me, in just nine games. Should he keep up an interest in Chess, he is likely to become a very good player. Presently, an online rating system rated him as a “strong social player”…after less than 10 games!

Who knows, perhaps the 23rd July will mark not only the first time Ainan beat me at Chess...but the last time I beat him, too. We will see.

Well done Ainan.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, 10, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, 6 and Tiarnan, 4, this month, please go to:

I also write of gifted education, child prodigy, child genius, adult genius, savant, megasavant, HELP University College, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, Malaysia, IQ, intelligence and creativity.

My Internet Movie Database listing is at:
Ainan's IMDB listing is at
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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 12:31 PM 


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