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How To Teach Your Child To Play Chess

How To Teach Your Child To Play Chess

Jul 6, 2010, 12:41 PM 0

Nobody ever taught me chess. When I was a kid I had three teenage brothers who played chess all the time. I wanted to play too. I watched and watched, and asked them to let me play but they said I didn't know how and wouldn't let me. The result was I did know how, because I had been watching them, and when they finally let me play they exclaimed, "My Gosh! She really does know how!"

I remember that I wanted to play so much that the bishops felt like legs and the knights seemed like my arms by the time I finally got to move them. And I never stopped wanting to play.

Now I am a tournament player and chess author. The reason I tell you this is, nobody taught me to play! And I think if somebody had I would have resisted it, like I did everything that was forced on me. My parents tried to teach me piano, I hated it. I kicked the piano. They tried to force me to learn singing, I hated it. I would hide from them at lesson time. But chess seemed like my idea.


So my advice is if you want to teach your child to play chess, don't. But does that mean give up on getting him to play? No! Of course not.


Get a chess set. Start playing yourself. Enjoy the game, and let him see you playing. If he asks to play you, then you can show him, but never force him. Let it come from him, and he may find out he loves the game. Start playing in clubs, if you are really brave. Expect to lose lots of games but keep playing anyway. This sets a good example for your child. Exposure to chess is the best way.


For more about how to teach chess, and for short chess lessons you can use to help you teach strategy, go to my chess page. For information on where to find chess clubs go to the US Chess Federation page.

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