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My son is 4 (and a half), or in well-know Mommy Language, 54 months. A few months ago I started teaching him chess and within weeks he could play a decent game of chess.
I was just wondering if any other parents or coaches out there might have any advice or input on how to develop chess skills at such a young age in a fun way?
I notice that he has the most fun when playing against other kids (rather than his dad), but his first choice is always to play against his grandfather. We would cheer very loudly when he takes off a piece that grandpa "did not expect". In the end, I want him to develop, but if he does not enjoy it, there is no point.
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Thanks. Will take a look on Facebook
I used to play against my son by removing a few pieces from my army. It allowed me to play full strength against him. That made it a fun game for me as well as for him.
Later, when I was teaching him, I purposely setup tactical opportunities for him to find during the game. It actually made the game very challenging for me (it isn't easy to set up tactical blunders on purpose). After a while, it got pretty easy (and I even accidentally set a few up during real games against other people : ) Muscle memory !
I think for your son to be only 4 yrs old and can play chess, it is a gift. Reminds me of
Here's a video I saw a few days ago:
Thank you for your feedback... I must admit that he is quite bright yes. He can speak 2 languages and and he can already write certain words. When he was younger, the pediatrician told us that he is a bright kid (maybe thats what thye say to all parents hahaha), but we have noticed that he is beter developed in comparision to kids his age and even a bit older. So we try and keep him stiumulated and develop his talent... while his other two siblings, well lets just say they take after the mother
I always love to see things like this. I am a musician myself and play multiple instruments. The plan is to get my kids into music as well as soon as possible, but for now, we just have fun playing chess.
There is an easy calculation training that all kids love and that is a knight capturing a pawn. At first you can try the puzzle as in two moves the knight can capture the pawn. Once he gets good at it, you can make it in 3 moves the knight capture the pawn. Kids also do enjoy learning two rooks mate against a king endgame. Once your son is familiar with the rule, you can let him enter a tournament even thought he is not yet good at chess. I have seen many parents letting their young sons/daughter join tournaments. Thru the years of playing these kids improve. Joining tournament can be fun for him and might add more motivation for him. Just tell him that it is okay to lose as that is part of the game. It will be better if the tournaments are for kids section.
there are already 7 year old 1750 USCF in us
I am planning to get him to participate in local tournaments, but I feel he is just a bit young at the moment. But thanks for the tactical advice, will look into it.
Thanks for your input. Noticed that he doesn't like it much when he loses, but on the other who, do likes losing?
tell him that someday he will beat you and it okay to lose. learn from defeats. if he makes a good move, praise him. after the game, point out the obvious mistakes. if you can find one, match him with a kid.
here are 25 standard checkmates. this is a good source for teaching mate patterns. i believe your kid will love it.they are not hard. maybe just show one mate pattern a day. if he grasp some mates, maybe ask him to solve easy one mate problem a day. set up it on a chess board. then maybe also show him later easy example of tactics like fork and pin.
I have started with the simple Back-rank checkmate with him...grasping the idea of check is still a bit distant to him, but at least he is getting use to the pattern. Thanks for your advice and input.
When i teach the concept of check, i use the one move mate back rank. I will use bishop,rook and 3 pawns in teaching this concept. At first i will demonstrate a back rank mate with a rook and i will tell the student that is mate because there is no way to escape the check. The king will be captured so it is game over.
In the 2nd demonstration i will move one square up one of the king's pawn. I will check again with the rook at back rank and tell the student that is not mate becuase the king can escape on the hole.
In the 3rd demonstration, i will place an opponent's bishop in which it is attacking the escape hole of the king. I will place again the rook on the back rank and tell the student it is mate becuase even if the student place the king on the hole, it is still in check by the bishop and the king can be captured.
I will also have a lesson in which my student will have a king and i have rook. I will check the student's king and ask the student at what square it can move to free itself from the check. The progression of these, I will add another opponent's rook to make it more challenging on where he can place the king free from check As they improve at learning check, i will add more pieces.
I repeat teaching the student these lessons the next day until the student fully learned the concept of check. These also helps him/her learn the concept of mate. I show the line ,or i even use a paper, to make a line and place it on a chess board to help the student visualize better the check.
I will also have a lesson in which my student will have a king and i have rook. I will check the student's rook and ask the student at what square it can move to free itself from the check. The progression of these, I will add another opponent's rook to make more challenging on where he can place the king where it can't be captured(not in check). As they improve at learning check, i will add more pieces.
Thanks for the advice. I will try some of them with my son this afternoon. I try not to "teach" chess everyday, but I try to use chess as an incentive...weird I know, but it works. I try to keep it exciting and interesting for him, otherwise what's the use of playing. Thanks for taking time to share some knowledge, I appreciate it.
good move just do what you think keep his interest. he might lose interest if you teach it everyday. just repeat what you taught. i like to see the progression of your son. so if you have an update or any question, just post here .
Will update as thing develop yes, thank you. I am considering enrolling him in a small chess tournament that will take place next month. The youngest group is U/7. So even though they are almost 3 years older than him, I think he would enjoy the experience of playing against strangers in a competitive environment. But I will have to ask the Chief Arbiter permission first...
@PastotJLM yeah enroll him in that tournament. kids usually likes to play against their fellow kid. i am sure he will enjoy it and it will make him appreciate chess more. i think the arbiter will allow it as your son is qualified for U7. I have seen many 4 years old kid play in a tournament. win or lose it will be a good enjoyable learning experience for your son.