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  • #1

    Hello, 

    I played chess all through my high school and now that I am a HS teacher myself I was asked if I wanted to start a Chess Club and participate in competitions. We actually won one of the school categories and now I'm trying to work on bettering myself and how to teach my students more. 

     

    Essentially my questions is any and all suggestions that you can recommend to help me make my students better than I ever was. I was never the best player, I know it is going to be a lot of work but please any help is apreciated.

     

    -Francis

  • #2

    will do, thank you very much Dowdy

  • #3

    You need materials for your club. Tell you school that you need chess clocks, chess books and chess boards. Your club will be better if you have these materials.

     

    You need books about tactics,endgames,basic opening principles and strategy.  Aside from the rules of chess, the easiest thing  to teach in chess is tactics. It will also improve them. Teach the tactical motif of pin,fork,skewer, double attack etc. Show some examples and once they grasp it, let them solve tactics problems. Set up it on a board. You can also make this as a homework. Show them also mate in 1,mate in two,mate in 3 etc problems. Once they grasp this, let them solve mate problems. If they can't find the solution after trying for 5 minutes or more, show the solution. Good tactical sources are Chess Tactics for Champion by Polgar(above beginner tactic book). World's Champion Guide to Chess(beginner tactics book).

     

    Teach them basic endgame mates of two rook against a lone king. Rook and King against a lone King. Opposition king endgames. Complete endgame Course by Silman is a good endgame book. You can also search these endgame positions at youtube.

     

    If your students are  asking you for book suggestion, tell them to get Logical Chess Move by Move by Chernev as this book is instructive and fun. Play/study the games of that book in your club. If your students are losing, tell them it is part of learning process.

     

    Let them compete with one another and join tournaments. Maybe tournaments between school. Implement elo rating on your students, so you can monitor their progress. Rating will also motivate them. 

     

    Tell them these:

    Always study their opponent's last move

    Always look at the whole board, to see piece positioning

    Before they make a move, check if there is a tactical drawback

    If their opponent have a threat, check if they have a stronger counter threat.

     

    You can set up examples for these. For example in the if their opponent have a threat, check if they have a stronger counter threat. A good example, suppose your opponent is threatening to capture your queen, but you  have have a stronger threat(1 move mate). Novice players have tendency to only react to their opponent's threat and are  not looking if they have stronger threat of their own. You should only introduce these, if they are already fine with basic tactical puzzles of fork,pin,mates etc.

     

     

     

  • #4

    Chess is for nerds.

  • #5
    Although books are great for learning, I never had a student ask me for an advice on book. Unfortunately they find them boring/"uncool" .

    I would recommend two series for you. The first one is Chess Camp by Igor Sukhin. 7 book series that give plenty of exercises that will make your students aware of simple tactics.

    The second one will be Chess Steps by Cor van Wijgerden. Very well laid and good exercises. Every step has one teacher book and one exercise book. There are nice tips in the teacher books. I give exercises from the workbook at the end of the class.

    If I were to pick one, I would go with the Step. Chess Camp can go hand in hand with the steps depending on your and your students' commitment.

    Keep your teaching part to 20-30 minutes and let them play for 20-30 minutes after the teaching. I organize a tournament for the playing part. This is a Great introduction to learn about touch move, do not talk rule. I post the tournament results on school board with top 5 players. Nobody likes to see their name at the bottom.

    Good luck,
  • #6

    teaching is essential. my club has the members bring their own boards and pieces. clocks are provided tho. you should have the more advance players teach groups of inexperienced or less as good players. if you're a good coach you should then teach the advanced ones. create the club like a miniature tournament setting. at my club, we have rounds and board numbers-very much like a tournament.

  • #7

    Essential Tactics (available on Kindle http://a.co/h54jxOH) was written especially for you. If you want the pencil and paper worksheets that go with the book, contact the author in the manner exp,aimed at the need of the introduction. I've been using these exercises with scholastic players for four years. They have learned basic tactics and have also improved their imagination.

  • #8
    fsueiro wrote:

    Hello, 

    I played chess all through my high school and now that I am a HS teacher myself I was asked if I wanted to start a Chess Club and participate in competitions. We actually won one of the school categories and now I'm trying to work on bettering myself and how to teach my students more. 

     

    Essentially my questions is any and all suggestions that you can recommend to help me make my students better than I ever was. I was never the best player, I know it is going to be a lot of work but please any help is apreciated.

     

    -Francis

    I was in the same situation in the '90's.  Initially I put up the money for cheap sets and 2" square vinyl boards and a couple cheap analog clocks.  The coaches of the several seriously organized clubs in our county's schools ran swiss system tournaments. Eventually I became the tournament director.  The profits were small - usually around $100 (maybe more like $150-$200 in todays money), but that was enough for several cheap chess clocks.

    I also picked up several used books like Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess or, my preference, Capablanca's Chess Fundamentals - it has rules, tactics, strategy, opening, endgame all in 60 pages - which fits the avg. teenager's attention span for a week.

    We contacted the state chess organization and they sent a local IM to speak and teach at one of our meetings each year.

    During our club meetings, before I turned the kids loose to play Chess or Bughouse Chess, I had a talk about tactics: forks/double attacks, discovered attacks, pins, etc.

    As we got better, we found we didn't have the opening repertoire some other teams had, so we started looking at unpopular openings we could spring on them.  The Bishop's Opening had been out of favor for over 60 years - Kasparov hadn't played it yet to bring it back - and it has a relatively simple plan so you usually don't have to wonder what to do when you get to the middlegame.  You play 1  e4, most high school kids answer 1 e5, then you do 2 Bc4 and, around move 5 you get in an f4, holding off on Nf3 until you do, and relentlessly attack your opponent's Kingside.  Often, you're able as White to castle Queenside and launch a Pawn Storm.

    The kids were excited about the idea and when they won with it, they kept playing it and finding new traps, wrinkles, etc.  We rode the Bishop's Opening to the County Championship and 3rd in State.

    One final thing: 50% of the art of coaching is knowing there is more than one way to train and more than one way to play, but convincing your players that your way works.  Get a couple good results - and make the kids feel two wins and three losses at a tournament is a victory when you're starting out - and they'll follow your instructions because you bring them wins!

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