Right age to introduce chess to your children?

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #61


    uhohspaghettio wrote:

    My parents never learned how to play chess, when I was about that age and I asked them what it was they told me that chess was "a very hard game".  When I was 9 or 10 me and my sister got a board and learned to play ourselves. I always wanted to play more than her. 

    Your parents were telling the truth, for sure - but that was probably not the most encouraging thing to say to a potential beginner.

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #62


    uhohspaghettio wrote:
    isaacthebird wrote:
    uhohspaghettio wrote:
    isaacthebird wrote:

    pfren I don't agree with you I think it is at 4-6 years old

    Maybe better for their chess development, not their own development. 

    I hate when parents view their children as a chance to get trophies they failed to get themselves. 

    I just got 4th at a tournaments and started at 4 years old

    P.S I'm 12.

    Well that's a success story. I'm talking about parents who say: "I will turn my child into a GM by making them play and train them from when they are very small", which is pointless and not good, and probably won't work anyway. 

    My parents never learned how to play chess, when I was about that age and I asked them what it was they told me that chess was "a very hard game".  When I was 9 or 10 me and my sister got a board and learned to play ourselves. I always wanted to play more than her.

    I would in no way regret not learning sooner, however I am glad I learned it eventually because I think it teaches many lessons. I think though getting too addicted and putting too much time into it is a very bad waste of time, and maybe sometimes people should completely quit all chess for years at a time. 

    I was not saying that parents should teach their kids how to chess so they can become a gm only because it's fun and good for your brain.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #63


    I have two children aged 4 and 5. I taught them chess at 3 and they know how to play a real game. The youngest can beat the computer on its lowest setting. I didn't push chess too strong I myself am only an average player with a moderate interest it was just part of play time. Interest in chess comes and goes for them sometimes they like to play a lot and other times not very much. I think be guided by the individual child. Some kids won't be ready until 6 or 7 there is no rush. I think It helps we have no TV or video games. Chess would struggle in that environment. Also chesskid.com is great resource. For the oldest child the competitive aspect is attractive while the youngest likes the puzzles.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #64


    chessroboto wrote:
    jforbes wrote:

    So I say as soon as they are ready to enjoy the game, let them play. Your never too young to have fun.

    On the corollary: You're never too old to have fun either.

    Does anyone know of a parent who has stopped (or at leat tried) their children from getting too involved with chess? I know for a fact that GM John Fedorowicz was sent to see the school psychologist when he said that he wanted to become a chess grandmaster when he grew up.

    I guess that the psychologist failed to talk any sense into him.  :-)

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #65


    zoom2me wrote:

    My nephew is 2.5 years.... but he has a tremendous understanding of things around him.. watches movies with me, speaks fluently. makes strategies to get his things done (in normal activities). recognizes faces & names ( (celebs,cartoons,movie charachters)..not only he watches movies with me.. after i explain him the movie while watching.. he picks it up and enjoys it and even goes to the extent of explaining the movie to his mom....

    I do speed cubing and i have bought a cube for him to play..he plays with the rubic cube and knows the 6 color of 6 faces of the cube. and solves it (if its very simple to solve,(like one or two turns of a side)..

    his memory, ability to learn & attention span made me think why not introduce chess to him..  he has a board and pieces now.. every day we spend 5 mins after i come back from office..he opens the box. takes out 1 piece at a time and gives it to me and i put it on the board. while I take it from him, i call the name of the piece aloud.. he repeats with me.. now, after a  week i can tell him to show me the black rook or some other piece  of a color, he will pick that up from the board and put it back at the right square.

    we do this with the chess 5 mins everyday.. he really enjoys it.. exp when he picks up the knight.. (he says Maximus , everytime he picks the knight (maximus is the horse from the movie Tangled...)

    so, i guess ther is nothing wrong if he is 2.5 yrs... i dont want to force him to play chess while he grows up... but I want his brain to have some headstart being comfortable with chess... and incase he likes playing chess going ahead i can bet he is going to be one of a  young GM from my country.

    I guess, there is nothing right or wrong with the age.. kids can start training at a much later a age and do just fine if this is what they really like & want to get into. but as guarians we have to be carefull not to do anything wrong/inappropriate..both->not training   kid with when you should  &  tranining the kid when you should not  can be wrong depending on the KID.

    I had a few friends who were speed cubers.  The trick is a well greased cube (actually, they used some kind of powder), and the ability to turn the back face of the cube without have to reorient it.  I think my fastest time was just under 5 minutes, which isn't very fast at all.

    I remember when the Rubiks cube first came out (or at least when it was first sold in stores).  I spent months trying to solve it, but could only figure out moves to solve 2 layers.  Several of my friends solved the cube right away; of course, they had taken group theory in math, and I hadn't.  Eventually, i broke down and asked them for their solution.  It turns out that most of them solved the corners first and then the sides (versus my layer by layer approach), and they had each come up with slightly different moves.  I didn't really like their approach and found that I tended to get confused using their methods.  Eventually, I broke down and bought a book on how to solve the Rubiks cube and just copied the moves from the book.

    Nowadays, all of my kids are faster than me at solving the cube.  Even my youngest, who is now 12, was faster than me when he was 8 or 9.  I blame it on my arthritic fingers.  :-)  I'm still a bit faster than my wife.  Of course, she always reminds me that she is better at most other activities than me.  :-O

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #66


    If a child has the dexterity to pick up and move a piece, and the mental capacity to remember how the pieces move, then the child can learn to play chess.  Each child is different.  I learned to play when I was 7 or 8, but learned Chinese chess when I was 5 or 6.  I probably could have learned to play younger than that if someone had bothered to teach me.  I'm sure that there are some kids out there who could learn to play at age 2 or 3.

    Adults tend to underestimate children, talking down to them and assumng that they cannot understand complex concepts.  It always frustrated me when adults talked down to me as a child.  I try to avoid doing the same thing myself now that I am (chronologically) an adult, but I find that I sometimes also assume that young kids don't understand certain things.

    I remember when my oldest son was about 7 years old.  We had just bought a board game, and I was trying to come up with some strategies by modeling aspects of the game as a directed graph.  He asked me what I was doing, and I started to explain directed graphs -- what a node was, odd nodes versus even nodes, etc.  While lecturing him, I made the statement that a complete graph had to have an even number of odd nodes.  My son replied, without hesitation, that I was wrong and that there had to be 0 or 2 odd nodes in a complete graph.  At first, I tried to prove him wrong by drawing a complete graph with 4 odd nodes but was unable to do so.  I then ran over to the computer and used Google to research the issue, and found out that my son was absolutely correct!  (In my own defense, I don't really get to use graph theory much day to day, and the last time I studied digraphs was in high school in the 1970s.)

    I asked my son how he "knew" this, and he responded that it was obvious that an odd node had to be the "beginning" or "end" and there could only be 1 beginning and 1 end.  If you end at the node at which you started, you would have 0 odd nodes, whereas if you started and ended at different nods, there would be 2 odd nodes.  He figured this out by himself literally only minutes after I had introduced the concept of a digraph.  I realized that I had completely underestimated my son simply because he was a "little kid."

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #67


    In support of the argument that it is never too young to get your kids started playing chess, I note that close to half of the USCF rated players are below 18, and most of them started playing before age 10.  In fact, in the sections in which I am competing in (admittedly, I am lower rated and have mostly played in under 1000 and under 1200 tournaments), the median age is lower than 10.

    One time, I saw a kid in my section who looked like he was possibly 3 or 4; he was so short that he had to kneel on his chari to be higher than chess board.  I asked him his age, and he said 6.  I then asked him whether this was his first tournament, and he shook his head.  His parents, who were helping him set up, then commented that he had been playing tournaments for several years, and he had played over 30 tournaments already!  Then and there, I vowed not to underestimate him if I ever played him in the tournament.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #68


    The Doc. introduced me to chess then slapped my ass.Cry

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #69


    I taught my son at age 4 or 5. I teach kids professionally and have for 14 years. Some can learn at 5, if they can focus and are interested. Kids are very smart and we seldom give them credit. They can master languages faster than adults can and have no concern with clocks and time management.  I have also found that kids are better sports than adults.

    I always have my kids say the ChesSmart Oath:

    I am ChesSmart. I eat well, exercise and don't harm myself with drugs, tobacco or alcohol. I will always be a good sport, not whining when I lose nor gloating when I win.  I will win with grace and lose with dignity.

    I will freely teach others what I have learned, so they can have more chess fun too.

    Chess is like life...good choices mean great results.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #70


    I taught my son when he was 6.  I don't think he would have had the attention span and ability to sit still any younger than that.  But clearly that isn't the case for every kid-- since he joined a local chess club, I've met a lot of people who did teach their kids at age 4. 

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #71


    sushi362 wrote:

    a family friend has a son who started at 4. He is now 9, and has a 2000+ FM, world champion

    Now there's a wonder to behold.Wink

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #72


    My father taught me chess when I was eight years old and we played many  games but soon, when I won him he stopped playing chess with my and now we never play chess. 

    So eight is probably the best age :)

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #73


    I started when I was eight, but I had to show intrest in it before my dad taught me how to play, and he would be rated around 800 online if he played here, so he didn't have much to teach me in the way of tactics and positional understanding.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #74


    fburton wrote:

    My father introduced chess to me when he was in his thirties. I don't think that was too old.


  • 2 years ago · Quote · #75


    ones they are mature (not immature) so around 10-12 but before they become interested in girls, then they will have no interest in chess. and you should let them learn to like it on there own once they know about chess, don't push them into it.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #76


    Many experts said that the good age to introduce chess to a kid is around 6-7 years old. If before that he wants to play with the board or whatever is fine, but don´t try to force a 4 years old kid to go a tournament. 

  • 7 weeks ago · Quote · #77


    Capablanca learned at age 4 just by watching his Dad.  He turned out to be one of the greatest of all time!  I have taught thousands of kids to play since I am a coach.  Usually around 7 is best. They lose interest around puberty.

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