# Removing Pieces as a Handicap

My daughter is 5 and I would like to start teaching her how to play chess.

I was thinking of giving her all the pieces, and giving myself less pieces as a bit of a handicap at least until she was comfortable with how every piece moved.

I'm actually a pretty terrible player, so I am probably not qualified to "mentor" her, but at the very least I could teach her the rules and play against her.

It occurred to me that if I removed a king side bishop or knight, I may actually make it easier for me to castle quicker.   While that benefit is likely offset by the loss of a piece, I would hate to accidentally give myself an advantage rather than a handicap.

Any comments on how to proceed?

She's only 5, just see how it goes.

You know there's no way she will beat you anyways, so just teach her the game properly, with all the pieces.

Remove your queen.  I used to play over the board with this master, Larry Kaufman, who would remove his queen, and then still destroy me.  Once he removed his queen and a knight, and I actually won.  But the point is that you can try different handicaps and use that to measure her progress.  And yours!

A good handicap would probably be to remove your queensideRook, and see how that goes. But handicaps are over rated, what you really need to do is teach her a normal game of chess and all the rules. Because your not going to try and beat her your going to teach her, so handicapping isn't really necessary.

She's just 5, she expects you to win.  Your games shouldn't be aobut winning but teaching the rules and some general principals.  I say leave all the pieces on at least for now.

If you haven't told her how the pieces move already, then start by explaining that at first and on your first game, have only your king on the table. Tell her to checkmate you as quickly as she can, and once she's accomplished it, work out together whether she could have done it any faster. Try this a few times so that she'll get the idea of checkmate, and after that move directly to full set of pieces for both sides.

Start by teaching her the rules, then the basic checkmates, then tactical training, then positional awareness... :) It's good that she's only five; she'll have plenty of time to learn.

white wins if both know about the opposition?

An excellent form of handicap is switching positions when she's down a few major pieces. See if she can convert a queen and rook advantage into a win.

handicapping-systems---levelling-the-playing-field discusses a range of handicapping schemes.

Somebody on this site said their father taught them by playing with only his king. As that person got better and started winning their father would add pieces until they were finally playing evenly. That sounded like a good way. It gives both the student and the teacher a real workout because both must play to the best of their ability.

Gomer_Pyle wrote:

Somebody on this site said their father taught them by playing with only his king. As that person got better and started winning their father would add pieces until they were finally playing evenly. That sounded like a good way. It gives both the student and the teacher a real workout because both must play to the best of their ability.

That sounds like a good idea. Although, there is something to be said about playing a game with all the pieces at some point, if only to show your student how to use them properly.

I never expected this many replies!  Thanks to everyone!

I think I like the idea of me starting with ONLY a king - something like tactics trainers at the very beginning, so she can learn how the pieces move :)

Yes, first to teach the basics:

1) Go to "Learn" tab, and click "chess rules & basics", try to use a real board, and emulate the diagrams there, let them play with the moves for a few minutes until they get that idea burned into their head.

2) After they know all the basics, play a game or two, so that they get use to the concept. Handicaps are a good idea because students can get demotivated. Chess is a confrontational game, losses are very discouraging. Play with as few peices as possible, and when student wins, add more peices one by one.

3) Teach basic tactics, such as a pawn pinned to a king, with just a pawn and a king on the board. (so they aren't distracted). A fork, with knight vs king and rook. A fork with bishop. A fork with rook. A skewer. (this is after maybe a week of playing normally; aimed at players who've had at least 20 games).

4) Teach some basic openings. e4 is good. Italian or Ruy Lopez for white is good to learn. Sicilian may be complicated, a simple e4 response opening and four knights game is simple enough. Open positions because closed positions can really discourage students who wouldn't know what to do.

5) Play some more games with handicaps. The handicaps are there to encourage the student that they can indeed win. The lesson to learn: All it takes is one mistake.

6) Get them to play people online that are close to what you think their rating might be.

My Dad used to play with me handicapped until I was able to beat him.  He would he then change the handicapp to something that was less of a disadvantage.  I am now playing with my younger cousin on this website and am wondering if there is a way I can handicapp myself.  We are already playing with takebacks, but it would be good to also handicapp myself.  Is there a way to do it?

Every artist makes all history through :

first play easy endgames with few peaces

remember, a beginner likes combinaciones, not theory (the word killed, the spirit liveth)

and when you play whole games, then play (to) risky gambits.

Every artist makes all history through :

first play easy endgames with few peaces

remember, a beginner likes combinaciones, not theory (the word killed, the spirit liveth)

and when you play whole games, then play (to) risky gambits.

His five year old daughter is now eight.

you might like this little game i recently made/updated,

http://sourceforge.net/projects/fairchess/?source=directory

but you will need the Zillionsofgames tool

(registered version, but then you also can

find /and use lots of other free games on their site)

http://www.zillions-of-games.com/demo/

jef