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Yes, it was only a small example I could think of :)
the boy was 7, and I taught him that in his second week learning Chess, so he started from scratch. I told him the moves with the white king, the moves with the pawn and the moves with the black king. Basically he played both sides. It must be about 20 moves to memorise. He got it right at once. He also learned tabiyas of about 12-15 moves for black and white at once. He started the course 2 months late. In 2 weeks he caught up with the rest.
So where's he at now?
I have been a hobby chess trainer for kids for about three years now and it is amazing for me how similar our problems and concerns are, although we are living in very different culture areas.
My experience with kids (95% boys) is that they love any form of competition. If you give them a problem and tell them to write down the solution silently and go on to the next problem most of them won´t be interested. If you ask them who is able to solve the same problem first and declare him to be the winner they will fight like mad and be very excited about it.
My actual problem is that the group of pupils is now splitting. Some are really engaged and spend their leisure time to study and improve quickly, others are only joining the training but spend no extra time and make no progress. I guess I will lose the second group sooner or later but maybe this is just the way it is.
I am a technician without any education in pedagogics, and this is quite a new experience for me .....
I wanted the best for both of them so I recommended them to study with the best Chess teacher in Seville, IM Ismael Terán, who a year ago defeated Nigel Short.http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1705374
The other one, Ricardo, was absolutely obessed with Chess, to the point that I asked him one day if he played with his Xbox and he answered "no because if I have time to play videogames it means I have time to play Chess." :)
The issue with that is, in America, chess is not taken as seriously by the general youth. They are considered the "geeks" of society. As in the UK, Russia, Asia, the chess players are considered intelligent people. (which they are)
1. You must show the kids someone/something they are willing to achieve and strive to be like.
2. Chess is very competitive, competitive children are more likely to enjoy chess.
3. If they're not willing to go to Over the board tournament, they're most likely not going to have the magical feeling of winning a trophy. This could be fixed by having your own club tourneys and giving out a prize.
4. Some kids are merely not interested enough in chess, don't spend all your time trying to get them into it.
5. The more you improve, the more you can teach them, they are more likely to be interested if you seem like an expert.
6. Enjoy chess to the fullest, if you look like you're enjoying it. They are more likely to try and enjoy it themselves.
There is a lot of truth in that, Nathan.
I didn't realize you were talking about two of em. Do they have ratings?
I teach in a couple of after-school programs.
I face the same challenges. One of the methods I have used is to give them all accounts on chesskid.com (requires a little pocket money from me but its not too bad) and then keep running scores of their tactics ratings so they have another competition vector.
Also, we have 4 computers in the room and I discovered they all want to play on chesskid during the class, so I reward whoever has done the most tactics that week with a seat at the computer for that day.
I have been trying different things. Sometimes a tactic works for a little while, then I have to change it up. Its a constant battle and easily the most challenging aspect of running a class for kids that level, but a good sense of accomplishment when it works.
Can't you just make them sign up for free accounts? I can't see why they would need all of the extra resources that come with a membership.
My suggestion is to let them play as any other sports. They play in order to strengthen their mind and body.
Everybody dreams to be M. Jordan, B Fischer etc. But only a few take it seriously.
So let them enjoy as a kid likes to play. Don't set any bar or push them.
I know this sounds discouraging. But the time for kids to play is getting less and less, so why force them?
Nobody dreams of being Bobby Fischer.
I don't know about now, I lost track of them more than one year ago. I reckon they were around 1000 FIDE, because I was around 1200 and I used to beat them 8 out of 10 games. However, the local U-8 champion was 1200 FIDE and Ricardo beat him in a tournament. They played 3 games, he lost the other 2.
Hi Coach Lund.
I read your profile and you have a lot of knowledge in many subjects to make any kid interested. Actually I wish I had all that knowledge you have on all those subjects.
I also teach Chess after school elementary program. I have taught at the public library. I used to belong to USCF. Dropped out and rejoined and listed as a tournament director for five years. I ran two chess tournaments city wide every year. I tested them and gave them a rating, even to beginners. They have been cancelled because of funding and they do not allow volunteers to be used.
You don't know how I look forward to the time I spend teaching chess. I've taught Chess about 10 years.
Oh. by the way I taught soccer for over 30 years. I have a Nat'l "B" USSF soccer license. Only reason I stopped soccer is because I got old. "75"
I taught Bowling for 40 years and had a Silver coaching license. I taught kids and adults.
In all those sports the way I got the students really interested I would find something I could teach that student and made them successful. Then they wanted more beacuse they could see the results right away.
To all the kids in the club I teach them traps. I give card handouts with the moves that they make as white and black, then they change sides. Not as a way to play but kids love them. Many times they use them in matches and I can see the happiness on their faces. All traps have a standard opening names and I test them by having them make all the moves in a row.
Usually they ask me for more stuff they can learn. It is impossible to tell you how to make them serious about chess. My class was for third to sixth grade. Only one is serious and attentive he is a sixth grade student. He will be leaving for middle school next year.
The other is a second grade student who asked me if he could come to the chess. His reason was that he knows all the moves and can beat some of the players. Besides he is my Grandson.
The third one is my granddaughter. She was taking a chess board and pieces and was teaching the third graders how to play so she would have someone to play with. She wasn't even in the class yet.
I see that you had a lot of input, suggestions and ideas. I am confident that you will succeed.
The one game we do is "Take Me" The player that losses all the pieces wins. Even the King can be taken, and can move into a check position to be taken. The games are fast and there is a lot of laughter.
I actually like this post and much of the comments. By the way you are a coach.
"I don't know how to play black but - school should be teaching how to succeed at life - not give you a chess trophy and live in poverty."
Your comment would make sense if that were the only thing they were trying to teach. Learning to analyze, consider, look ahead, try alternatives, hypothesize, use one's imagination--all things chess can encourage--seems like some pretty useful life tools to me.
I can relate to everything you said, in fact I could tell my experience teaching Chess using yours. The "tricks" you used to teach them is the way the teaching is done now: "learn while you play". I gave them flashcards, easy puzzles to solve, created a championship, and the winners of each school went to a tournament to establish the best in the city. Some days they were just colouring, or drawing the pieces, or watching something about Chess on the screen.
The problem with heterogeneous groups is always the same, some are way more interested in the subject than others, some are already much more advanced. I eventually had to divide my students into two groups. Some parents complained a bit, but if your son spends most of the class doing anything but Chess, he can't be in the advanced group!
I even had to talk to the head teacher and warn her that some students were bullying one of my advanced students just because he played simuls with the "slow" group and beat all of them within 15 minutes. They called him all kinds of names, being as cruel to him as they could. They were very cooperative, and they ordered chess books for the school library and went easy on him with the homework because he participated in a tournament every single weekend. The bullying stopped the moment I reported it to her.
He also joined the soccer team to complement Chess. I told him Fischer and Kasparov were very active and explained why. It worked like a miracle.
High school is late to get ''children'' to be interested in chess. They already ought to be. Here (NL) we have a basic steps method. They're just pages with tactics. You should think you can solve 12 to 24 in an hour tops, unless you're one of the coaches. (Say I take 2-4 mins for a page.)
Traditionally, we would try to do a little explaining and then we'd try to have the kids solve a handful on their own during the lesson or so. In hindsight, I must say most kids respond to that very badly. They do not feel like solving the tactics, unless they are already bright students and/or playing an instrument. If they were into sports in any way they would sort of fade away. Solving tactics is still a very effective method chess wise. It's just not for children without any incentive or discipline. So, what would I say?
1) If you have the rare breed that enjoys tactics, just have them solve a page or two at home. Do explain beforehand. Tactics need to be basic, not the composition type you spend hours on. You can help these kids a lot and they're usually no trouble at all. For the typical kid, you may want to dial it down: It is doing more harm than good pressure and work wise.
2) Kids can enjoy a good lecture, if it is short and practical. Preferably you want a brief presentation on a demonstration board. A miniature game is good. Better is a ''problem position'' they can then play out after the instruction. Kids love stuff like ''K versus K + 1 pawn'' or ''mating with queen/rook.'' Be creative and adjust the difficulty accordingly. Rook endgames are simple to set up, but are quite challenging even for adults!
3) Include playing chess in the meeting, like a competition. Most kids do not come to learn. The learning behaviour is an acquired taste.
Teach them about Magnus and his rare child abilities. That might get them interested.
Tell them that girls like chess players.
As a member of this chess club, I would say one thing that might work is incentive. We have the honors and tournements, but I think having smaller more easily obtainable rewards would be nice. As a decent, but not the best chess player I find it very hard to really want that trophy when there's so much far better competition. I know when those magazines were being offered to those that won two games I felt like I could do that and strived to do so. Call me materialistic but I find incentive works. To make mice run the maze you have to give them cheese.
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