Chess Dad needs advice

mevmaverick
My 7 yr old daughter got a beginner chess board for Christmas (2019). In 2-3 weeks my 5 yr old son (this account) could beat me, my wife, daughter, and grandparents. We are all novice level however....I hadn’t played since childhood. Any tips from parents raising a chess kid on what they did that worked, what didn’t.
JosephReidNZ

Play it more and you'll get there

kindaspongey

Maybe there would be something helpful in a 2013 Silman article, called Dinos to the Slav.

http://www.uschess.org/content/view/12291/719/

"... [Winning Chess Strategy for Kids] is a comprehensive chess course written for children 7 to 13 years old. … It covers the rules of play, basic mates and elementary tactics. Then it leads the student through a whole range of more advanced strategies, including piece development, pawn structure, and attacking the castled king. Finally opening principles, middlegame plans, and endgame techniques are all explained in clear and simple language for easy comprehension. ..."

https://web.archive.org/web/20140708094112/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/review332.pdf

https://www.chess.com/forum/view/for-beginners/how-to-teach-a-7-yr-old

GeekyTreeHugger
As a chess dad myself of a 5 and 7 yr old I am researching the same thing. Mainly how to keep them engaged in the game and have fun. Many chess lessons are a bit heavy handed for kids so young in my opinion. I found a book called Chess Gymnasium which looks pretty great. It teaches piece combos and making the game a puzzle instead of the focus being on playing full games. I am going to try that. I also use a chess clock as I am far more advanced. I get 2 mins and they get 30. They understand they my running out of time is a valid and honest win. I found that chess clocks make the game more fun for them too. They like hitting that switch.
mnkybutt

Find an old copy of Winning Chess by Irving Chernov  It's Written in old Descriptive notation but it has short puzzles on pins,knight forks.discovered attacks etc. great training for a beginner.

kindaspongey

Winning Chess (by Irving Chernev and Fred Reinfeld) has been published in an algebraic version.
https://web.archive.org/web/20140708093415/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/review919.pdf

Chessflyfisher
CoffeeAnd420 wrote:

I honestly can't believe there are grown men here categorizing themselves as "Chess Dads". How absolutely pathetic.

Why do you think that it is "absolutely pathetic"?

ThrillerFan
Chessflyfisher wrote:
CoffeeAnd420 wrote:

I honestly can't believe there are grown men here categorizing themselves as "Chess Dads". How absolutely pathetic.

Why do you think that it is "absolutely pathetic"?

 

Because he's an idiotic millenial with no kids and doesn't understand the concept of supporting their children.  I am a chess player, but I'm a figure skating dad of a 9-year old!

DENVERHIGH

Easy book for beginners to use . . .

RussBell
kindaspongey wrote:

Maybe there would be something helpful in a 2013 Silman article, called Dinos to the Slav.

http://www.uschess.org/content/view/12291/719/

"... [Winning Chess Strategy for Kids] is a comprehensive chess course written for children 7 to 13 years old. … It covers the rules of play, basic mates and elementary tactics. Then it leads the student through a whole range of more advanced strategies, including piece development, pawn structure, and attacking the castled king. Finally opening principles, middlegame plans, and endgame techniques are all explained in clear and simple language for easy comprehension. ..."

https://web.archive.org/web/20140708094112/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/review332.pdf

https://www.chess.com/forum/view/for-beginners/how-to-teach-a-7-yr-old

The books by Jeff Coakley, "Winning Chess Strategy for Kids" and it's companion "Winning Chess Strategy for Kids" are both too advanced for a beginning 7 year old. 

I have both books.  These books are marketed by the publishers as being appropriate for very young players in an attempt to promote sales.  The pages of the books are littered with lots of kiddie cartoon characters in order to entice potential purchasers with the impression that the books are for very young kids, which to me is a purposeful marketing misrepresentation on the part of the publisher.  

The books certainly do contain a lot of excellent chess instruction targeted to the beginner-novice; but these particular books are simply too much, overwhelming for the very young. They are more appropriate for more mature students, say 10-12 years old or older, i.e., those with longer attention spans, and the dedication and ability to focus on and absorb the avalanche of material in these books.  Especially if the child is expected to read/study the books on his or her own, with minimal assistance and mentoring from an adult.

For a very young player I would suggest a program of study similar to the material recommended in the first half of the following blog article...

https://www.chess.com/blog/RussBell/beginners-chess-course-instructional-resources

In particular...

Chess Kids Academy - An excellent site for independent learning and teaching chess to absolute beginners - primarily children, but also any beginner regardless of age...

http://www.chesskids.org.uk/

http://www.chesskids.org.uk/newcourse/journey.pdf

Teaching Chess Step By Step by Igor Khmelnitsky, Michael Khodarkovsky, Michael Zadorozny.....3 books.....designed primarily for teaching chess to young children......(see the referenced blog article for links to this course material).

Another book appropriate for the young beginner is "Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess" (also recommended in a previous post by DenverHigh)...

https://www.chess.com/blog/RussBell/bobby-fischer-teaches-chessa-book-review

In all cases I think it is important for the parent to work closely together with the younger children as they study these materials.  That is, as much as possible work as a team, together with the child as (s)he studies, to provide real-time guidance and encouragement.  In my opinion, unless the child specifically indicates a desire to study alone, without assistance, most very young children can and probably will quickly lose interest and motivation for studying chess books on their own.

https://www.chess.com/blog/RussBell

52yrral

Kudos to chess dads and moms everywhere!!

Batman85455338875
I need help
Ziryab
mevmaverick wrote:
My 7 yr old daughter got a beginner chess board for Christmas (2019). In 2-3 weeks my 5 yr old son (this account) could beat me, my wife, daughter, and grandparents. We are all novice level however....I hadn’t played since childhood. Any tips from parents raising a chess kid on what they did that worked, what didn’t.

 

I've taught more than 1000 children the basics and have coached competitive players, including state champions, for twenty years.

1. NEVER lose on purpose to your child. Instead, play games from set positions where the child should win. For instance, play pawn wars (first pawn promotion wins) with six pawns to your child's eight. Play this until the child wins consistently, then add a pawn to your side and play more. Of course, if your child has already exceeded you in skill, then you need to get better and try to win a few.

2. Check out the tag "elementary skills" at http://chessskill.blogspot.com/ Lots of good lessons that have worked with children there.

3. Get the book, Chess is Child's Play. It is full of advice about how to learn chess alongside your children.

SeniorPatzer

Thanks Russ and Ziryab for your comments.

Ziryab
SeniorPatzer wrote:

Thanks Russ and Ziryab for your comments.

 

RussBell always has a well organized selection of good resources.

bong711

@OP Buy https://shop.chessbase.com/en/products/fritz_and_chesster_part_1_version_3

I hate to say this. Most kids will learn chess better with Fritz and Chesster.

Joel31w

I'm not a chess dad but my dad was, he found that playing me was fun even though I'd beat him a lot of the time. It got to the point it wasn't really a fun thing for us to do anymore, as long as you're having fun with your kids they'll continue on their own to find people to play of they desire to. My advice would be to keep it fun and light and help them, if they desire to, to find tournaments or clubs to join in the future. You don't have to be their chess master or anything like that, look at Magnus and his dad, the relationship is a big reason why Magnus still plays. Just my thoughts.

52yrral

@CoffeeAnd420 you have shown us all how a real loser tries to defend his insults.

Serphiot

I use the 'Step method'. https://www.stappenmethode.nl/en/index.php The manual for trainers also has tips on how to teach children. It's about 1 step per year i think

JamesAgadir

Finding a good chess club is a good start. What I mean by good is one with at least some players of his level an higher so that he'll learn. Give him access to chess material and play him if he wants to. If he's really serious about it you could get him a coach later on but it isn't obligatory, you can improve a lot in a reaonable club.