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My nameis Joseph Curtain, I am 18 and I have been playing chess most of my life.
I have just taken a job outside of school - coaching chess to kids in primary schools.
Now I've been going well so far - working on tactics and simple little endgames which i feel the kids should know about as they have mastered all the basics. But now I have come to the realisation that their endgame is severely lacking and I want to address that. I have been getting them for the past few lessons to learn and master the simple queen king vs. king and rook vs. king endgames, but now I need new material.
Can anyone please suggest what kind of positions would be best suited to teach to primary school kids who know the scholar's mate, know how to play a decent middlegame and struggle with the right moves of pawns in the endgame?
I coached kids in primary school a few years ago and I found that there is a significant difference in chess-playing ability between each year level. I started with Grades 2-3 and couldn't convey the idea of zugzwang and getting the opposition to the more advanced in the group. By Grade 6, they should understand the idea behind building a bridge (R+P v R) and similar.
Concentrate on the basics (opening themes, golden rules, etc.) even if it pains you to watch them fumble through their end games. And when you do decide to introduce end-game concepts, start with K+R+R v K
They can mate with a queen vs long king? Perfect. Because IMO a logical next step is to show them how a passed pawn in an endgame can be like being a whole queen up! You could do multiple lessons on this easily.
Maybe start with a king+4 vs a king+3 with the outside passer e.g.
After showing how easily winning this is perhaps have a mini game where it ends when you're able to queen and have a student play it out vs you or another student.
Ok so now they realize passed pawns can be just as good as being a whole queen up! Now make it a bit harder with something like this:
And so you can bring up pawn majorities and they'll start to connect pawn majorities with big time winning chances.
Then a bit harder
And now you can introduce the idea of why backward pawns are bad, and could even spend a whole lesson on that.
Next example could be along the lines of...
And show white's majority is immobile while black's is winning.
Of course this could go on and on and you could think of your own positions. You could up the difficulty where pieces are immediately traded into a winning pawn endgame. Or add rooks and how rooks belong behind passed pawns regardless of if it's for defense or offense. You could do protected passers vs outside passers, introduce doubled pawns, etc etc.
One handy intro to doubled pawns is how in some positions the defender can ignore a majority with doubled pawns and it's impossible to create a passer.
These drawbacks of backwards and doubled pawns (and in the case of protected passer vs outside passer, isolated pawns and pawn islands) obviously make a great intro to strategy and pawn play in general.
hmmm i think you only need is you as coach is to study also,
I don't think very young kids need to know anything beyond K+Q vs K and mate by 2 rooks etc. I am teaching children of that age group for many years and have hundreds of their games. Only in few cases their games reach to any real ending. These games are always decided by blunders by one player or other in opening/ middle game it self. So more useful could be to teach them how to avoid blunders.
But there are always some extra talented kids who begin to play like mature persons at very young age. Such players need to know other endings like K+P vs K etc also. You can read Jeremy Silman's end game book where he cleary states what endings one needs to know for rating < 1000 , <1200 and <1400 etc. If any one interested I can send copy of that page if he gives email.
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