How does Waverly use Life Savers to get what she wants in "Rules of the Game"?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Waverly used Life Savers first to get her brothers to let her play chess with them, and then to persuade an old man who was watching others play chess on a folding table at the playground to play with her.  Eventually, Waverly learned enough about the rules of the game to become a champion.

Waverly had gotten a twelve-pack of Life Savers as a Christmas gift at a party given by her church.  At that same party, her older brother Vincent received a used chess set with two pieces missing.  Waverly's brothers Vincent and Winston quickly taught themselves to play the game, and Waverly begged them to let her play too.  They relented only when she offered to let them use two of her Life Savers in place of the missing pieces, with the winner being allowed to eat both after each game.

Waverly quickly caught on to the basic strategies involved in playing chess, maintaining her interest long after Winston and Vincent became bored with the game and had moved on to other activities.  One afternoon, while walking home from school, Waverly noticed a group of old men playing chess in the playground.  She ran home to get her brother's now abandoned chess set and two rolls of Life Savers, and asked a man who was observing the game to play with her.  He obliged, and actually turned out to be a very good chess player.  Over the weeks, Waverly's supply of Life Savers dwindled as she lost many games, but just by playing with the old man she learned many secret strategies and became quite good at playing chess herself.

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Rules of the Game

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