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We have video of my dad teaching my older sister the names of the chess pieces. She was about three or four. He would pick up a piece and say it's name. Then he would let her hold it. After letting her hold the king, he took it away again and replaced it on the board. Almost emediatly, my sister begin repeating "That, that, that, that, that..." over and over again while pointing at the king until dad gave it back to her.
She was to young to learn, but he was already introducing her to the pieces.
You can begin introducing games such as chess and GO (3,000-year-old asian game of territories using black and white stones on a grid) to children as early as 4 years old. The path of their development would begin from their reactions from thereon.
You will read stories of elite chess players starting to show interest early in their lives, but the key word is INTEREST.
You can copy the Polgar Experiment to nurture his three daughters into strong chess players through home schooling and continuous chess curriculum, but be mindful NOT to become the infamous chess father who almost destroyed Gata Kamsky .
Finally, If you left them alone, they could grow up and strive to become chess champions on their own like Bobby Fischer.
My six year old has been playing chess with me for about a year now. I let him win sometimes and make attempts at playing into positions where he can take advantage of a position he has seen in the past. He wants to play so we play. He likes it when we spend about 3-5 minutes going over the game. (Anymore and he gets bored.) He has his own chess book, Kasparov's My First Chess Book. (He saw dad had chess books so we got him one of his own. ) I wouldn't have thought a five year old would be ready for chess until my son wanted to play.
So I say as soon as they are ready to enjoy the game, let them play. He sometimes does funny things like mixing the pieces in with his Legos for a Lego Star Wars vs. Knights battle, but he has fun with it. Other kids are likely to do equally non-chess distractions or have fun at the boards expense, so what. At this point his enjoyment is what it's about. Your never too young to have fun.
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 learned Chess when I was 3 and I was interested.
When they're old enough to know not to eat the chess pieces.....
I have a 3 years old kid and he watch me playing. He started to ask me to play chess with him like two weeks ago. He already learned the name of the chess pieces. I think you should introduce them when if they are attracted by the game.
I learned a 6 and was beating my father within the week ( not necacaraly the best considering all moves were legal, and he had taught me en passen and the fact that i could have more than one queen)
I´M SURE YOU ARE A HAPPY GRANDPA.....CONGRATS...
To sumamrise my experience with kids:
- Any time between 4 to 5 is a good age to introduce the kids to pieces and board.
- Depending on the interest they show (and this depends a lot on how you teach them) you can decide the frequency of your sessions.
- Keep the training sessions fun and short enough to leave the kids craving for the next session. Some of the seesions I take for my 5 year old lasts 10-15 mins.
- Needless to mention - but keep the sessions from simple to complex.
These are purely my views based on my experience with my kids.
I was wondering what is the right age to introduce chess to your children. This question does not have an immediate relevance to me as my 2 kids are still very young. The oldest is 4 and 1/2 years old. Although she is smart (I suppose parents are predisposed to think that way about their kids) 5 or even 6 may be too early to start. What should be the ideal age to introduce a logic stimulating exercise like chess?
I learnt chess moves at the age of 9 myself. One of my uncles gifted a couple of books to me and my sister during family visits. She got a book on introduction to chess and I got a book on Karate. I liked the chess book more :) and read it and got hooked. Ironically my uncle did not play chess and neither did my parents. Since then I have had an on off relationship with the chess and have played it occasionally ever since.
Chess is like a learning a language. It is always better to start as early as possible. If you make your kid start at an early age, with right coaching, there is a very good chance that your kid shall become a GM. Once the kid has memorized all the openings (which occurs very naturally at an early age), he/she already has a great start. Also, just like languages, it would be necessary to practice the skill as frequently as possible.
Having mentioned all this, I should also mention that I do not recommend teaching your kid chess at all. It is a tremendous waste of mental capacity. Your kids will thank you if you teach them real lanaguages like German, French, Chinese, etc. In today's globalized world, learning languagues instead of chess can be far more rewarding; not only personally, but also professionally.
-Not a Big Chess Fan.
I introduced my kid at 4. He's not great at Chess today, but he's not bad either. He still enjoys it, but did not become a fanatic about it. At 12, his rating is close to 1000 now. He played in his first rated tournament at 7. There was a four year old in that tournament. I thought the four year unrated kid would be no competition. Turns out as I was wrong. Five years later, that four year old is the number 1 9 year old in the country.
I don't think four is too young to start, but attitude is everything. Keep it fun and don't make it seem like a chore.
Warning: Cute kid story coming up: (Posted before, so some may have heard it.)
I taught him Checkers before Chess. One day,when he was 3 1/2, we set up a checker board, but he said he wanted to play Chess. I said I didn't think he knew how to play Chess, but he insisted he did. As far as I knew, his exposure to Chess was watching the first Harry Potter movie, but he was adamant that he knew how to play. Intrigued by his certainty, I agreed to play. We got the pieces set up and he said, "Checkmate! I win!" I congratulated him on a well played game.
(For those who didn't understand the point. From watching the movie he took away the fact that the player who said "checkmate" won the game. He hadn't caught on that it might not be sufficient just to say the word.)
Karpov started when he was 4
The key to teaching young kids at a young age of 4 and 5 is to start playing with only pawns and a king on the board. When they grasp the pawn movements they will also start to grasp the pawing of a pawn to a queen. They will also grasp the concepts of check and check mate with just the pawns involved.
After they master the pawns, add the queen. They will already be familar with the queen because pawns eventually queen when your playing with just pawns.
Afterwards bring in one of the color bishops follow by both bishops.
You get the idea. You bring in different pieces at a time only when the child has master a piece. Eventually all chess pieces will be on the board and now you can start teaching them openings and stragey. Hope this helps.
If you try to teach a young kid at age 5 with all the pieces on the board it will be way to difficult. I am not saying it isn't possible its just painful. Better to build a good foundation one step at a time . It will also make it more enjoyable for them since learning chess at the beginning can be a bit overwhelming. Specially when there are so many possible moves when there are many pieces on the board.
I wouldn't necessarily underestimate kids' capacity to absorb chess with all the pieces on the board. Well, of course, for clarity you could first show how the individual pieces move on the board when they are alone.
My experience in a child learning chess comes from my own daughter, now 6 years old. When she was still three years old, she saw me playing Chessmaster 10 on my computer, and when I showed her the funny pieces meant for kids (or kid-minded adults :) ) she wanted to play the game herself.
I let her play with Chessmaster, and amazingly, she learned how the pieces move from that game. She learned the correct moves, as the program doesn't allow you to make illegal moves. So she learned how to move pieces correctly at the age of three.
After that I have not pushed her into chess, but I have rather waited her to express her interest. We have played against each other every now and then. I usually play best moves (using a short thinking time) but I will also discuss our moves and try to help her realize her best move as well. I will not give the correct answer or the exact move but rather I'm trying to get her to realize it using hints and suggestions. She is not a child prodigy but I think for her age not bad either. She will notice many direct threats, for example. I have taught her some basic strategic principles as well, like develop and castle quickly, and she remembers those things.
All in all, I guess the correct age to start chess is the age when the child is clearly interested in the game, probably from 3-4 years upwards depending on the child. Of course we shouldn't pressurize the kids in chess even if we had some secret hopes of them becoming GM's or whatever (I don't actually. If she really gets interested in chess, I will support her, if not, that's totally fine too). Chess should be fun, after all.
At birth, the child should see animation of innumerable chess games from the perspective of the winner or the disadvantaged player that salvages a draw, also tactics problems and endgame sequences, just over and over and over and over again, in chronological order. This should be happening while music is playing, a variety of rhythms, meters, and instruments Finally, simple geometric demonstrations of increasingly complex mathematical relationships should be playing continuously and simultaneously with the above (visually and aurally). This should happen most hours of the day and night with regularly scheduled holidays, for as many years as possible, forever ideally. Then your kid will be a chess/music/math master, a real weird brilliant psychotic kid. Hopefully, he'll be on your side if he uses his powers for evil. My side, too, since I told you how to create her/him.
Great advice as usual on creating a chess/music/math master, dannyhume!
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