How I got the kids in our chess club to practice

hcarstens
hcarstens
Sep 8, 2009, 9:16 AM |
4

The first thing I noticed when my son joined his school chess club was that nobody practiced. They came on Monday, played a few games and that's where it would end until they came back the following Monday.

The next year I found copies of ChessMaster on sale for $5 apiece, bought enough copies for all the kids and asked them to practice by playing 3 games per week. (CM is great for this because it comes w/ such a huge database of opponents for the kids to play. This means they are playing people good enough to be challenging but not so good that they lose every game. Which means they keep playing!)

Did it work?

Yes. Last year the 15 kids in our club played over 2000 club, tournament and practice games and we only lost two kids the entire year to other sports.

This year we're beefing up the tactics side of their practice sessions to build a better foundation to lay all that playing on top of.