Monday, November 7, 2011

Chess: A brain game

Aaron Dean with Learning Through Games hosted a chess tournament at the Library on Saturday, which was extremely inspiring! Children, ranging from Kindergarten to Grade 12, were focused, motivated, and ready to win! Tensions were high, children and parents were going over moves the opponent made, teens were studying strategies; I had no idea chess tournaments were so taxing and exciting.

Though chess is only a game, it helps to develop important skills that can be used in real life. Chess helps to develop logical thinking skills, visual memory skills, discipline, and it improves attention span. In fact, studies show that children involved in chess score higher in both math and reading. The Library is hoping to offer a free chess club on Saturday mornings this winter, so be on the lookout!

Though there were about 65 kids in the tournament this weekend, only a handful were girls. We will want to increase the boy to girl ratio because ches
s is a great game for all ages and genders.

I think a chess set will be the perfect gift for a six year old. Now I just have to learn how to teach chess!

A couple of ideas I found online that I will definitely use are …
1. Don’t worry if the child hasn’t memorized everything yet. Start a game and at each turn show the possible moves and let the child decide where to move.
2. Switch sides in the middle of the game because it is frustrating if you never win.

Do you have any strategies on teaching beginners chess? If so, please share!

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