Children and chess
There is much discussion and many ideas about how to get children, especially young ones, involved in chess. A common problem is how to maintain a child's interest and enthusiasm while they develop the skills needed to actually start winning. Here are some tips.
- Play simple endgame scenarios, such as giving a child a King and Queen against a King. These can be good as they involve few pieces and don't require the child to look ahead many moves.
- Set "mate in two" type puzzles for the child to solve. These may have more pieces and more complex combinations, but a limited number of moves.
- Play full games with children playing other children or adults of similar skill level. They will get satisfaction in winning sometimes, or at least not getting beaten so soundly.
When a child does play an adult of much higher skill, or a computer chess program, there are still ways to keep the child's interest.
- Give the child some odds. Time odds (in which the child has perhaps 10 times as long to play as the adult) are generally better that piece odds (in which the adult starts with some pieces missing), because piece odds distort the game more.
- Turn the board around one or more times during the game. This could be after a set number of moves, or at the child's request up to a set number of times (perhaps 2 or 3) during the game.
- Make the adult play touch-move, even on the computer, so if they touch a piece (or click on it) they have to move it.
- Allow the child, but not the adult, to undo moves and take them again (but perhaps only once per move).
You don't need to deliberately let a child win. The above suggestions will give them a fighting chance at winning, but they still need to work for it. See Information for Beginners in the KChess Elite Help file for details on using KChess Elite for novice players.
Published by ARK ANGLES