Charlie has discovered chess and is patiently allowing himself to be beaten game after game while he learns the moves. He's already worked out the complicated Knight and is getting to grips with bishops and rooks and the omniscient Queen; he's learnt how to castle his King but he is finding pawns hard to master with their erratic manoeuvres...
I'm delighted and frankly I credit all the problem-solving games he's been playing on my phone for the past year and a half. Every game he gets a teeny bit better and he is longing for Christmas when we will be staying in a house with a proper chess set.
All this budding chess genius talk is making no impression on the Frog who pronounced after his 5-year-old's third-ever game of chess "He's rubbish, he can't remember which piece is which!" He also commented, more accurately that "I bet he'll have dropped it in a week" - so no pressure then.
I have an ambivalent relationship with chess. My Dad started teaching me when I was about 6, no doubt with the same dreams of owning his own personal chess savant that I harbour. I always wanted to be good at it but sadly the light never shone for me.
I have fond memories of visiting a very good friend who was living in Paris for a while and being taken to his local cafe where chess was played at any hour of the day by wizened Frenchmen smoking tiny, pungent roll ups. We sat at a table and started a game and within a few moves he had me up against the wall. As I was concentrating fanatically on at least taking his queen with me before I went down, I noticed the occupants of the cafe edging slowly towards me, muttering to each other.
Before long we were surrounded by chess players and wreathed in cigarette smoke. The muttering got louder, they were clearly itching to help out... then, unable to stop himself a thin hand snaked down from the closest figure and gestured at a move I should make.
Hugely annoyed at the interference, I made the move and drained my wine glass in irritation. My friend responded; again I sunk into baffled silence. The muttering grew quickly into a loud debate about which gambit I should be taking and the whole cafe was now standing around our table.
Another move was suggested and just as my annoyance was peaking, I realised what was happening. Letting them take over, I watched a beautiful, full-on turn-about take place... I can't remember who won or lost the game but for a few moments, the door into chess had opened and a chink of light had shone through.
Who knows if Charlie will still be playing chess by Christmas? I don't know and I don't much care but I am certainly going to be encouraging him to do anything which takes his mind away from shooting zombies, throwing angry birds at pigs, sinking pirate ships or any of the destructive video games he's been playing.
No, it's going to be about murdering bishops, capturing queens and pillaging pawns from now on - death to the king!