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Dr. Alexey Root
POWER CHESS FOR KIDS (BOOK REVIEW) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alexey W. Root on Thu, Dec 08 2011 (01:21)
I recommend FM Charles Hertan’s Power Chess for Kids: Learn How to Think Ahead and Become One of the Best Players in Your School (New in Chess, 2011). The organization of the book is stellar, the layout is cheerful (with cartoon-style characters), and the material is important for chess improvement. The book is geared toward children that already play chess. In my opinion, readers should wait to purchase this book until they have a USCF rating of 600 or higher. Buying it earlier would lead to frustration, as the book teaches its readers to see 1.5 moves ahead. That is, one side moves (a “power” move such as a capture or a check), the other side recaptures (or moves), and then the first side wins material or checkmates. So if one cannot already see a half move or one move ahead, 1.5 moves ahead will probably be too challenging.

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HIGH SCHOOL CHESS #10 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alexey W. Root on Fri, Dec 02 2011 (09:33)
I reminded students that UT Dallas Chess Coach Rade Milovanovic has chess team members show their games to the rest of the team. The team then comments on and analyzes those games. So I want to do that occasionally in our Denton High School chess club. I showed my win over Julie Wilson (published in Children and Chess: A Guide for Educators) on the Smart Board. The club members followed along on their own sets and boards. I stopped the game a few times for the club members to analyze/predict what should be played next. Afterwards, one of the club members commented, "That was very interesting."
 
CHESS AND EDUCATION CONFERENCE PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alexey W. Root on Tue, Nov 15 2011 (04:38)
Information for the Second Koltanowski International Conference on Chess and Education (November 18-19 at the Hilton Anatole, Dallas, TX) is available at www.utdallas.edu/chess/kolty2Click on "Download the Official Brochure PDF" to download the program book.

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HIGH SCHOOL CHESS #9 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alexey W. Root on Fri, Nov 11 2011 (11:19)
Friday, November 11, 2011, was our Denton High School chess club field trip to UT Dallas for its Scholastic Affiliates program. Mr. Mueller (Denton High School chess club sponsor) and I drove 12 Denton HS students to UT Dallas. We met members of the chess team, toured the Activity Center and Student Union, and played chess with members of the UT Dallas “Student Chess Society” (chess club).  At the Student Chess Society, there were refreshments. It was fun for me to have my volunteering (with Denton HS chess) and my work (teaching UT Dallas courses) intersect. The UT Dallas students enjoyed playing chess with the HS students, and vice versa. A member of the Student Chess Society, Carlos, asked when we would be back. I said probably a year from now. Carlos replied that we should visit every month! One of the HS students told me that she wished she had a photo of the chess club member she played against.
 
HIGH SCHOOL CHESS #8 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alexey W. Root on Fri, Nov 04 2011 (08:48)
Chess club members learned how to draw with black from this position: White: Ke3, Pe4 Black: Ke5. For those who missed the previous week, I taught how to win when White has a Ke3, Pe2, Black has a Kf5 and it is White to move. After promoting, then White checkmates with a king and queen against king. After learning the king and pawn against king endgames, chess club members tried a problem from "Developing Chess Talent: Creating a chess culture by coaching, training, organization and communication" by Karel van Delft and IM Merijn van Delft, with a foreword by GM Artur Yusupov. The problem is White to move and win: White has a Kh2 and pawns on e4 and g4. Black has a Kf2 and Pf6. The problem combines some ideas from what we practiced last week and this week. 
 
DEVELOPING CHESS TALENT (BOOK REVIEW) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alexey W. Root on Fri, Nov 04 2011 (00:22)

I recommend the book "Developing Chess Talent: Creating a chess culture by coaching, training, organization and communication" by Karel van Delft and IM Merijn van Delft, with a foreword by GM Artur Yusupov. As I read this book, I keep sticky notes handy to mark passages. Here are four of those, paraphrased by me:

 

1      A chess training program is only effective if the trainee realizes its use and helps design it.

2      If a young chess player gets restless waiting for you to set up chess positions, have the youngster set up the positions.

3      Beginning young players play quickly because they don’t know what to think about during a game. It does not help, therefore, to simply tell them to slow down.

4      If a youth or school chess club has two groups of different levels, have the non-chess playing parent supervise a chess-playing session and the chess trainer teach the other group. Then the two groups can switch places.

 

Long before I read this book, I implemented these four ideas in my own teaching

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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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