Dr. Alexey Root
Written by Alexey W. Root on Mon, Feb 13 2017 (17:58)

On February 12, 2017, I visited the TAMS (Texas Academy of Mathematics & Science) chess group which meets at 2:00 p.m. Sundays at Emily Fowler Library in Denton, TX. Ten TAMS students were present, with one of them studying, one waiting for a game, and the other eight playing each other. As I watched the games, a girl and her father showed up. The father said, “Do you recognize my daughter? She was the last person playing against you at your simul in July at the Denton Public Library North Branch.” The father and daughter then sat at the open board and began playing against that TAMS student. Another game finished and I talked with Michael, who said he was a TAMS senior and the head of the TAMS chess group. He said that the TAMS students enjoy getting together to play chess. Also, about two to five children come in for instruction each Sunday. As we were talking, a father and son approached and the son began playing against a TAMS student. The schedule for which Sundays the TAMS students volunteer providing chess instruction is at the Denton Public Library Web site. My opinion is that other libraries could host such program. Like TAMS students, many high school honors students are required to serve volunteer hours in the community. By having a chess meeting at a library, those honor students could have fun playing each other and also, when asked, provide chess instruction to library patrons. It seems like an easy way to volunteer, as not much equipment is required. The TAMS students brought a bin of chess sets and boards and the library provided four tables with 16 chairs.

Written by Alexey W. Root on Sat, Jan 28 2017 (19:07)
Dr. Alexey Root gave a simultaneous exhibition (a "simul") at the Flower Mound Public Library, Saturday, January 28, at 2 p.m. Ten players initially faced Dr. Root. After some players lost and their spots were refilled, a total of 17 players participated. Dr. Root won 14 games, drew two games, and lost one game. She gave a copy of her book Prepare With Chess Strategy to the winner, high school math teacher Luis Vera Perez. Dr. Root sold 12 copies of Prepare With Chess Strategy. Thanks to Librarian Jill Dawson, Library Circulation Clerk Justin Cross, and Branch Manager Sue Ridnour for hosting this event. 73 people came to the simul, as there were spectators and family members, chess players, and three students from Dr. Root's online ED 4359 course. As each game finished, the crowd clapped! The last game finished at 4:00 p.m., so 2 hours for 17 games.
Written by Alexey W. Root on Sun, Jan 22 2017 (09:52)


On Saturday, January 21, 2017, I taught the Chess merit badge at the National Scouting Museum. Nine Scouts attended. (Ten had signed up but one was absent all day.) As outlined in my book Prepare With Chess Strategy, I covered the non-tournament requirements first in a workshop. Two of the nine Scouts had previous experience in rated chess tournaments and quickly demonstrated requirements such as the two-rook checkmate. Since one of the requirements is for Scouts to teach chess, those two Scouts helped two other Scouts who needed one-on-one instruction on the two-rook checkmate and en passant. Before lunch, the father of one of the Scouts came into the room. I asked him if he would be willing to be the tenth player for the afternoon tournament so I would have an even number of players. He agreed and played the longest first round game, which he lost. The two rated Scouts won both their games against other Scouts and faced each other in the third (last) round of the Swiss-system tournament. All nine Scouts completed the requirements for the Chess merit badge. After I finished teaching, I toured the National Scouting Museum. Although I had taught previous Chess merit badge workshops at the museum, I had never walked through it. I enjoyed the Norman Rockwell Art Gallery and the interactive displays (such as the cave I crawled through and the Pinewood Derby cars that I raced). The animatronic mannequin who introduced the film about the Boy Scouts of America was also very intriguing. The National Scouting Museum has free admission and is in Irving, TX. See it soon, as it is relocating to New Mexico. I have enjoyed working with April Proulx, Programs Director at National Scouting Museum, her current assistant Joseph Connole, and her previous assistant Elaine Bressman. The latter had contacts with Scouting magazine, which led to this article. Thanks to the National Scouting Museum staff for registering Scouts for the Chess merit badge workshops, setting up the room (tables, chess sets, dry erase board, etc.), and providing materials (rosters, photocopies of Chess merit badge workbooks and score sheets, pencils, and blue cards). I will next serve as a Chess merit badge counselor at the Merit Badge University at The University of Texas at Dallas on April 1, 2017.

Written by Alexey W. Root on Tue, Jan 17 2017 (08:25)

Dr. Alexey Root‘s review of Checkmate: Bobby Fischer’s Boys’ Life Columns, combined with Fischer information from her own book Prepare With Chess Strategy, is a blog posting here. The blog is run by Ashley Parr, LLC, a collaborative effort between Chess Grandmaster Maurice Ashley and Teresa Parr, Ph.D.  Ashley Parr, LLC collaborated with Dr. Michelle Ellefson from the University of Cambridge and Dr. Zewelanji Serpell from VCU in a large-scale multi-year research project to study the potential of chess as a tool for improving executive functions. Dr. Root interviewed Dr. Parr about that project for the February 2012 issue of Chess Life magazine. Dr. Parr also spoke about the project for the 2011 Second Koltanowski International Conference on Chess and Education. Ever since Ashley’s Chess for Success: Using an Old Game to Build New Strengths in Children and Teens was published in 2005, it has been required reading for Dr. Root’s Chess Online courses. And Dr. Root was thrilled to meet Maurice Ashley in person at a national scholastic held in Dallas several years ago. 

Written by Alexey W. Root on Thu, Dec 15 2016 (13:33)
Dr. Alexey Root will appear at three DFW venues in January of of 2017. First, she is one of the local authors at the January 14th North Richland Hills Library Local Author Fair. She will talk for 10 minutes about chess and then sell her book Prepare With Chess Strategy. On January 21, Dr. Root will run a Chess merit badge workshop at the National Scouting Museum. Since the museum is relocating to New Mexico in late spring, this will be Dr. Root’s last presentation at the museum. Registration for the Chess merit badge workshop is open now on the Web site of the National Scouting Museum. On January 28, Dr. Alexey Root will give a simultaneous exhibition at the Flower Mound Public Library. Anyone who defeats her in the simul will win a copy of book Prepare With Chess Strategy. The book will also be for sale at the event.
Written by Alexey W. Root on Sat, Nov 12 2016 (21:37)

Richardson Public Librarian Vrena Patrick organized Chess Puzzles and Play from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, November 12, 2016. 44 library patrons attended, including eight students from Dr. Root’s ED 4358 and ED 4359 courses at UT Dallas. Dr. Alexey Root supervised the Chess Puzzles. Each puzzle sheet had four to six checkmate problems on it. By completing one puzzle sheet, a patron was entered in a prize drawing. For patrons that wanted to see how many puzzles they could solve correctly, Dr. Root kept track of the number of puzzles solved by each patron on a dry erase board. Brianno, a child, solved 21 puzzles. Two adults solved 18 puzzles each. After solving chess puzzles, most library patrons challenged each other to chess games. There were usually about eight chess games going at once. UT Dallas chess team member FIDE master Alex Velikanov supervised those chess games. Since Dr. Root had brought various prizes (chess sets, T-shirts, medals) and the UT Dallas Chess Program had donated other prizes (USB drives shaped like chess queens, key chains shaped like chess queens), almost everyone who stayed until the 3:45 p.m. prize drawing (where one had to be present to win) got a prize. Dr. Root sold five copies of her latest book, Prepare With Chess Strategy. She autographed those books, autographed other items, and posed for many photos with library patrons.

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Chess Quotes

And for the chess-player the success which crowns his work, the great dispeller of sorrows, is named "combination."

-Emanuel Lasker (1868-1941)

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