How to Play Blind Fold Chess Better Than a Fifth Grader. . . . (memoir)
I showed up on time to teach the class and there were more students than I had chessboard. Of course, I improvised and doubled some of them up.
Two of the students had already played in my tournaments and they were eager just to play. I utilized the knowledgeable ones as tutors and they enjoyed that.
Most of the others were willing to learn since they were truly beginners. The time passed too quickly but I kept them trying new things that they never thought about in chess.
“Before you go home today I will give you some homework to do.”
“Oh. No.” “Homework?” Were some of the comments I heard.
“It is going to be some fun stuff to do. It isn’t like math!.”
I gave them the homework to do, before the next weekly class. I showed them how to recognize the location that each piece is on.
I showed them the fool’s mate. I showed them how to avoid getting mated that way.
Just before they left I showed them how they could to play blindfold chess, without any pieces on the board.
“Last thing I want to show you is how you can play chess blindfolded.”
“I can’t do that. I got to see this,” said one boy.
“Let me show you using this board. Look I move the white pawn to e4 and the black pawn to e5. Now I move the bishop to c4 and the black to c5. I move the knight to f3 and the black knight to c6. Now I am going to take the pieces off the board. Ian come here and play black against me making the same moves.”
“Ok. But you might have to remind me what the move is.”
Now with just a empty boards between us and all the kids watching I said,
“I’m moving my pawn to e4. Ian can you picture that on the empty board.”
“I see it,” he said with a smile on his face.”
“Ok. It’s your move. Make it.”
Ian says, “Pawn to e5.”
“Ian, can you see the pawns? Where are the pawns?”
“Yours is on e4 and mine is on e5,” He said.
“All you guys can you see the pawns also?”
“yes, Yeah, sure.” Were the responses.
“Ok my move. Bishop to c4. Your move Ian.”
“HUH . . . bishop to . . . c5 I think.”
“Perfect no mine Knight to f3. Yours Ean, Look at the board.”
“Knight too o o . . c6.”
“Mine bishop take pawn on f7 check. Your move.”
“hu… hu.. “
I stopped it and I saying, “Ok that is enough for now. Ian I want you to tell me where are all the pieces that you and I moved. Where are they right now?”
Ian said, “Pawn on e4, Knight of f3, bishop on f6 checking me. Those are all yours. Oh. I am going to take the bishop with my king . . . Mine are pawn on e5, Bishop on c5, and the knight of c6.”
“Excellent, great job Ian. See? It can be done with some work. How about all you guys can you see them on the empty board? I know that it will take some practice to do that but you will be able to do some of it soon.”
I told them that by the end of the training they would be able to do that also. You should have seen their eyes light up. Most of these were third graders. Ian was in the fifth grade.
I could not wait for the next lesson and see if their homework was done.