Many people wonder how to teach chess to children . We speak of course of parents or adults who are not dedicated to the teaching of chess , but who want to teach the rules of chess and perhaps the first important concepts of our game to their children, nephews, grandchildren …
Chess monitors do not necessarily follow the same method when giving chess classes to their students, whether they are children or adults . In this article we will focus mainly on how to teach chess to children , and we will even differentiate by certain age groups, since it will not be the same to teach chess to very young children , say for example in preschool age , than to children with more than 6 or 7 years . Of course this article this article shows my personal vision and is especially dedicated to parents who want to teach their children to play chess . In case you need a book or chess manual I would recommend Practical Chess Course .
To begin with, let’s say that chess is being used successfully in pre-school children . We recently offered an article in which we talked about Innovation in preschool chess (pre-chess) . We must bear in mind that chess with small children should be used as an educational tool . The objective. therefore, it should not be to create a great chess champion, but to use our game as an element that serves the child to learn and acquire different types of skills. Chess can help the intellectual and social development of young children.
In the case of pre-school children, chess should be presented in a very visual way. We are preparing an article on the subject for our magazine Capakhine , but the truth is that it is no secret that the experiences that have been made so far with chess with children in the preschool stage , required a great creative work and involvement by part of the teachers. Songs, stories, drawings , the possibility of participating actively and interacting with chess elements from the first moment , etc.
When teaching chess to children of other ages it is true that we can suggest some suggestions that help parents who want to start their children in our game.
Before starting, it is important that children become familiar with the material that is used in a game, that is, the board and the pieces . I have seen how many people tried to start chess on some child by explaining the movement of the pieces in the first place . Let’s not forget that the first thing must be to present to the child-student the elements of the game . It is important to explain how the board is placed correctly at the beginning (white space on the right) and to teach the first concepts related to the board (squares, rows, columns, diagonals, center) . Then it will be good to teach the child the name of each of the pieces of the game of chess and where they are located at the start of a game. All this can be enough for a first class. It is better not to try to teach too many things in each class, so that our son or young student can go internalizing each idea well. Besides, it’s always good to be left wanting more.
The rules of chess should be taught progressively , giving children time to assimilate each of the movements of the pieces. For this it is important to propose to the child games in which he practices the movement of each piece as he learns it . In a future article we will try to offer different games of this type.
Once the child knows the board and the pieces, how they are placed and how they move and capture, they must learn the other rules of the game of chess , such as check, mate, drowned , and the special moves that we have left for the end: the castling and the capture in step .
The system of algebraic annotation can be taught at the same time that the rules of chess are learned . From the moment when, in the first class, we show the board and talk about the squares, columns, rows or diagonals, we will refer to the coordinates of the chessboard. It can come well, once the rules of the game of chess have been taught , to dedicate a class to teach how to read or write down a chess game .
When you have taught the rules of chess , you have to move on to the first concepts. The value of the pieces is a tricky subject . It must be emphasized that the value of the pieces is relative , and everything will depend on each specific situation. Then we will show the numerical value of each piece. 1 point for the pawn, 3 for the bishop and the horse, 5 for the rook and 9 for the queen. Beware because I have seen many chess monitors that teach children that the lady is worth 10 points.
It will not be bad to teach the basic mates (two towers against king, queen against king, tower against king and finally two bishops against king) . This will help you understand the value of the pieces much better.
And above all it will be fundamental to dedicate many classes to solve positions of mate in 1 . Of course, later you will have to combine it and put mate exercises in 2, but in principle the child should become familiar with the mate , and for this it is good to perform many exercises.
In deeper classes, deeper classes will be discussed. The fundamental laws of openness (subscribers of the journal have access to the pdf dedicated to this topic), first strategic concepts (development, space, etc …) . Surely any father who is reading this article to teach chess to his son and is already losing a bit with these concepts, can take him to a club or school to perfect his chess in case the child is interested. We are not going to move forward because the goal of teaching a child to play chess has already developed throughout the article, but I am going to make a very important final recommendation:
Teaching a child chess, as surely teach anything else, must mean above all motivate and try to infect our enthusiasm.