Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Tournament was a Success!

Best of all my star player showed up! He did a great job representing YMCA Central all by himself :D Check out the pictures below:

I also got word that BASIC will continue on through the summer! I know I would be a lot better teacher the second time around so I'm looking forward to it :)

Teaching chess to kids is HARD. This next time around though, I'm going to try and instill three basic principles by repeatedly saying them every day we meet.

1. Control the center with your center pawns

2. Move all your Knights and Bishops Out

3. Castle

From now on, I won't even bother to tell them about certain things like not moving the pawns in front of their castle, rooks are worth more than bishops, etc. because doing so would overwhelm and ultimately discourage them in the long run. My job is to promote chess and help create a love for the game, not be their coach when they're not even sure they like the game in the first place. I need more of a laissez faire approach to teaching chess I think.

I'm also going to buy a lot more boards so all the kids can play each other. Since we had a shortage of boards it was always me playing all of the kids together on one board. But the kids always had move disagreements and my helpful tips probably came off as discouraging. From now on I'll loudly say those three principles at the beginning of the day, at the end, and maybe a few times in between but the rest of the time I'll just set up the pieces, let the kids play each other and answer any questions they might have.


hisbestfriend said...

Yes, they all need to have chess sets.

These are remarkably well priced...

And if you don't buy them there, you can probably work on price matching of sorts from,, or

And ultimately, what frustrates kids, is losing, and lack of information and support. Be honest, teach them how to checkmate, and keep feeding the knowledge base.

You may want to definitely consider adding real chess to your program (the point being it is just as important as to not lose, as it it to win). And PCT ( can be inexpensive, because all the kids can have accounts on the single computer. And is super easy to manage for the adult, as compared to some of the "free" options. So this can help if you can somehow get a computer setup for part of the time. Or if the Y has a computer where the program can be set up.

Finally, if money is an issue for some or all of these kids, seriously consider finding a way to get a chess set into these kids hands for keeps. Something like an achievement award. This will help cement the relationship, and get a real chess set into their hands.

transformation said...

dear rise and shine, thank you for your care. i am off to my next visit back east, at an odd pc, and will add your link at the next available opportunity, and very glad that you came by.

i see many warmhearted photos of children here, and this is a very encouraging sight, as young persons have the greatest potential, and one single sentence delivered at the right time can launch an entire life--i know it, as this happened to me several times at age 15, and 18, and 23 etc... but these folks are younger and can do far more. good for you. you must be the finest of persons!

the details here deserve more than a passing glance, and, if i may, pls visit another day hopefully soon and respond with more attention than i can give here, now.

thank you again, david warm regards, outside metro new york where the trees breath and squirrels jump.

transformation said...

added. :) welcome aboard 2x.
further comment in next day or two. thank you. dk

chessloser said...

glad to hear/see it was a success...just dealing with kids, much less teaching them chess, is difficult, props to you my man....

Brad said...

I presume you have seen this lesson plan material. I used it myself to improve my "just a beginner" understanding of chess.

The Rise and Shine Good Knight said...

**hisbestfriend** - Very cool! :) I think I'll buy 20 or so of those. Much appreciated man :D

**transformation** - Thanks for the link! You truly have an enviable location, I'm in my house where the dust sits and the spiders crawl ;)

**chessloser** - amen to that brother

**brad** - That is some good stuff right there. I'll definitely use at least the first couple tests for the kids, maybe put up a 20 dollar prize for whoever gets the highest score. Bribery seems to be more effective than anything else when it comes to kids :) Thanks for the link!