Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Chess Club Goals & Rules

Coach Matt spent some time today reviewing our team goals and some rules for the club.  We have encouraged kids to keep these goals in the back of their mind and practice the rules during Chess Club.  We talked to kids about an upcoming tournament at Heritage Christian and they are very excited.

Goals for Chess Club:
  1. Learn the game of chess
  2. Have fun playing chess
  3. Get better at chess by learning skills, practicing and learning from others
Rules for Chess Club:
  1. Respect the school library
  2. Practice good sportsmanship (shake hands, say "good luck", "good game", no taunting)
  3. Learning to play chess means:
    • Be attentive - listen to coaches during lesson.  Ask questions if you don't understand
    • Start a new game when other game finishes (before 3:50)
    • Avoid conflicts.  Get help to solve disagreements

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

No Chess 11/25

Happy Thanksgiving!  See you next week.

Monday, November 9, 2009

No Chess Meeting 11/11

Just a reminder, Chess Club will not meet on this Wednesday 11/11 due to school closure for Veteran's day.  In the mean time, practice, practice, practice..

For new students make sure that they know:
- Names of pieces
- How to set up board (remember white on right, Queen on her own color)
- How to move each piece
- How to capture

For returning students, we have focused on:
- Value of pieces (e.g. to make sure that they dont trade a Knight for a pawn)
- Controlling the middle on opening (protected pawn structures, Knights occupy many spaces)
- Castling basics (must not move King, must not be in check, must not move through occupied space, no pieces between King and Rook)
- Protecting pieces

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New Faces

Wow!  We had an unexpected number of new faces this week. Three first graders and one Kindergarten member learned names of pieces, how to set up the board and how to move individual pieces.  We are reaching a point where we have to separate new players and teach them strategy from ground up.  At this point, we are just trying to accomodate the brand new players with the basics so they have the right foundation for more concepts like values of pieces, castling and opening strategies. 

Parents continue to help in strong numbers as we managed to have 4 additional parents in addition to Mr. Adams (6th grade teacher) and I.   We were down to one chess set left (out of 20) so there's definitely a big push of new players coming through.

Over the next few weeks, we will try to assess player levels for matches and to separate into different groups for level-appropriate lessons.

Friday, October 23, 2009

New Members!

New faces joined our team this week.  Some were players from last year and four players were brand new to the club.  We split off three new players this week and covered names of pieces, how to set up the board and how the pieces move.  The other players paired up after a short lesson on sportsmanship from Mr. Adams. 

We have covered the following concepts to date: 
  • rules for castling
  • value of pieces to make sure that pieces are fairly traded
  • briefly touched on good opening strategies to control the center of the board

Friday, October 16, 2009

Useful Chess Sites

Here are some useful sites that I have found.  I'll continue to edit these as find more interesting ones:

Washington Scholastic Chess Information
Chess Calendars:
Chess Handouts:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Sixteen kids and five parent coaches started off the new chess year at Frank Love today.  We saw many familiar faces, including a 7th grader who returned and asked to help every week.  Our team is coming off a successful year that started late but finished strong.  We finished 7th overall at the Sheltonview Elementary Chess tournament held at Lockwood Elementary.  Three kids qualified for the WA State Elementary Chess Championships in Spokane, with one earning a medal for three wins at State!

We start this year with the following team goals:

  • Have fun and be respectful to one another
  • Learn to play chess better
  • Finish as a team higher than 7th place in a tournament