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First off, I just have to say YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
Second... everyone except 2 people (who I'd estimate were somewhere around 1000-1200 USCF) and the advisor (who in the one game I've played with him, we drew) (I'm just over 1350 USCF) are pretty much completely new... so, we meet 2 hours every Monday; how exactly can I push everyone else to improve? (For an example of skill level... I beat one of the newbies with queen odds and 3 minutes to their 5. The other fairly skilled people (excluding the club advisor) don't show up often, so...
The ideas I had were including some sort of a puzzle "ladder", getting them to learn notations and playing an annotated game at least every two weeks (but I feel that would be intimidating to them at the present time)...
Got any advice???
Btw if you're a student at Pinkerton in New Hampshire, PLEASE come next Monday >.<
If they are beginners, playing is best. Dont bother with puzzles etc just get them to play often and they'll soon improve.
I agree with c_pawn, you can form a group here, just I did for the schools I teach. Play, play and play,
You can try to play a simul against them.
Just give a lesson at the beginning of each meeting. I'm top of my chess team by far (I play about a 1500 otb), and the others are probably in the range of 1000-1300. My chess coach might be about a 1700, but he never actually helps us. Just get out there, show them some positional stuff you know, a tactical puzzle or two, or an opening and its ideas.
You could do warm-ups of tactical puzzles and then a 15 - minute lesson.
I think you should have a short lesson prior to game play. I teach chess in 5-7 schools and many of the students are relatively new. Stress the use of opening principles rather than specific opens at least until everyone getting central control, reasonable minor piece development and early castling. Then look at a few simple openings. Dedicate some time later on for basic tactics. I use master level games from one of my databases to illustrate certain points. However, try to use games that are around 20 moves in length. Highlight the key points such as opening principles or tactics.
Here's what I do: I give a BRIEF lesson (I shoot for 15-20 minutes) at hte beginning of the meeting. Then set the kids free to play TIMED games.
We have a ladder board and challenges to move up the ladder have to be 30 minute games and must be recorded so that I can replay them. If I cant replay them from the scoresheets, it doesn't count.
It is really important that kids play alot.
If you have a booster club (or can convince the parents to form one) buy chesstempo.com accounts for your kids so you can track tactics and endgame "homework."
Be prepared to give lessons on everything, but keep them simple and short. Once the kids are in hte swing of things, memorize games that excite you and give SHORT lectures on those games and show them what made you fall in love with that particular game. Some days I'll teach a basic endgame pattern and have the kids play each other from the starting position a few times each to get the hang of it.
Some days I'll teach an opening sequence to a typical tabiya and let them play that sequence a few times.
Some days I'll show a video.
But mostly don't get caught up in the lecture. Let the kids play, with clocks and scoresheets, as much as possible.
And don't forget to teach them bughouse!
Its best just to play and learn.
That's also the problem, as it looks like a doss club with no learning to outsiders.
I personally seem to learn new things best by experiencing them, so my recommendation that may or may not be good is to play first, then study!
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