Dr. Alexey Root attended a lecture by University of Texas at Dallas Assistant Professor Dr. Chandramallika Basak on March 3, 2017. Her report on Dr. Basak's talk "Cognitive Benefits of Learning to Play Chess and Other Strategy Games" was published March 10, 2017 on ChessBase
Dr. Alexey Root will staff a booth at the Denton ISD Summer Activities Fair. Her booth will give information about the UT Dallas summer chess camp. The booth next to her will feature Coppell MOSAIC, which includes a chess course by Dr. Root and a sight-singing course by William Root along with dozens of other MOSAIC courses. Other summer programs and camps will also be highlighted at this free fair. Details: Date: Thursday, March 2nd
Location:1212 Bolivar Street, Denton TX 76201 - 2nd Floor/Pecan Room
Time of Event: 6:00pm - 7:30pm
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.
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.
CHESS MERIT BADGE NATIONAL SCOUTING MUSEUM
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dr. Alexey Root interviewed Dr. Kenneth A. Kiewra for ChessBase. Kiewra has researched the development of chess prodigies. Dr. Root was interviewed for Games World of Puzzles magazine, December issue. Since the interview was done before the Olympiad, Dr. Root predicted the US team would medal there. The US team took gold in the Open division of the Olympiad. Dr. Alexey Root was also featured in a Denton Public Library blog posting for her July 30th simultaneous chess exhibition at that library.