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
experiences. The second idea can also work in a group setting, by having a pair of children set up a position on the demonstration board. One child sets up the White chessmen, the other the Black chessmen. The remaining children can practice a chess drill (such as a two-rook checkmate) and then be called to attention when the demonstration board position is correctly set. With regard to the fourth idea, I had a non-chess playing parent supervise one group of children on chess software in a school computer lab while I taught the other group in the school cafeteria. It’s great that the "Developing Chess Talent" authors collected many useful ideas in one book, and also included interesting interviews with top players. I learned what those top players think about nutrition for chess performance and the effects of performance-enhancing drugs in chess. And, more expected but still useful, those players' insights on how to get better at chess.