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Resources for Developing HS Players' Skills

  • #1

    As a coach at a high school club, I'm struggling with the task of improving my players' fundamentals.  Our top 4 boards may be in the 1200-1300 strength range, at best.  They struggle with taking their time, noticing the threat, and even dropping pieces at times.  The fundamentals are not there (I haven't been there for long!).

    They struggled at State and want to get better for Nationals in a couple of months.  I would love to get some resources for improving these basic skills.  Sure, I can help them with opening, show them tactics problems, and so on - but it's the basics they need help with.

    Are there any great free resources out there?  I know about Exeter Chess Club and sites like that, but maybe some YouTube videos or other free resources that help with thinking at the board, basic calculation skills, etc.  I'd appreciate any help!


  • #2

    Annotated games of the great masters (Capablanca, Lasker, Steinitz, and so on). There is not a greater chess school than that one.

  • #3

    How often do they play tournament chess ? How serious about chess are they ? There's something about going 0-3 or 1-4 in tournament play that will either make one get serious about improving their game or they will quit and move on to other interests. 

  • #4

    Absoutely pfren, very good point.  I need to get them going on some of the greats.

    They just went 3-4 at State, which wasn't too bad.  They have messed around in the past, but now say that they want to get better.  To be honest, I don't know how serious they are about getting better - they are excited about Nationals, so I want to try to support them.

    I'm eager to see if anyone has any good ideas about developing these specific skills though:

    • Calculation
    • Thought Processes (i.e. dropping pieces!)

    With pfren's point, online annotated games (the classics) would be perfect for them to study during practice.  Any sites have these?

  • #5

    I'm going to start using http://chessmagnetschool.com/verify.php with my kids this spring. The first month is free, but after that there's a fee. I'm going to try and get the parents to form a "booster club" to support the kids. We should be able to pay for the whole team to get onto the site for a year with one good fundraiser.


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