Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chess Club Update

Much has changed since our last posting.  I promise to restart the updates from this point on.  Here’s a quick summary:

·       Started the year with about 45 kids with many returning
·       We hired Chess4Life to provide an opportunity for kids that
would like to learn from some of the best chess coaches around.  Coach Elliott Neff began working with about 15 of our students and they have learned a tremendous amount.  
·       Coaches Matt, Dawn and Long continue to work with the other
students, leveraging teaching videos and workbooks from Chess4Life
·       We are over halfway through the year and now focused on getting a few more students to qualify for the WA State Elementary Chess Championships.   Currently, the following kids from Frank Love have qualified for State:  Aidan, Curtis, Kenny, Rohan and Roshan. 

Here is a recent update from Coach Elliott Neff

We continued with the make a mate challenge AFTER having all students put into practice what they have learned so far. Focusing on looking for checks and captures is crucial.  We also did the "Sitting Duck Challenge" to reinforce the magic square checkmate concept - students had a great time with this challenge, especially when I took on 4 at one time!

Students have now completed the make a mate challenge in the knight level exercise book - and I am very happy to say that the students were doing very well with learning 'teamwork' by assisting each other as soon as they had completed their own series of make-a-mates. students learned to give hints and help explain to their teammates - not just give answers.  
We are looking forward to continuing to move forward through the knight level topics - and at the
same time, the most important area for the 
students to practice is to simply go slowly enough and look for ALL checks and captures - this will help them immensely!
Also - congratulations to Roshan Skariah who came back with a first place trophy from his competition on Feb 12th at the Chess4Life Center!  The Skariah brothers have been advancing quickly indeed. Also, kudos to Curtis who was the first student to complete the Knight Level test! In fact - with the 2 brothers representing Frank Love at that challenge - we just needed a couple more Frank Love students and very likely FL may have come back with a team award! (based on the top 4 scores from any school represented in the competition)

Suggestions for home study to help improve:
  • The book Chess Tactics for Students by Bain would be great for this whole group to work on and strengthen the most important part of their game - Tactics! 
  • Friday Night Quads in Bellevue - while a bit of a drive, the competition is great because
         students always play with others of similar ratings - first time players receive a prize - and students can practice what they are learning...and on top of that, parents can drop off their child(ren) and have a date night for a couple of hours. :)
  • Play chess with your child - and ask him/her what he/she has learned in class this greatly helps for the child to try to 'teach' someone else what they have learned in order to store the concepts in long term memory

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