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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:54 pm 
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I'd like suggestions for a book please.

My 6 year old nephew was bought a chess set for Christmas (not by me). His father knows how the pieces move but no more. I only see him once every few months, so help from me will be infrequent. What book(s) would you suggest for him that might make him more interested in playing a game of chess than a game on his PSP?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:04 pm 
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Chess for Kids: How to Play and Win (Right Way Books)!!

There are lots of chess books written for children out there. You’ve seen them before. Perhaps you learnt chess yourself from a book like this, or used one to teach your children.

You know what they look like, don’t you? First we learn how the pieces move, and find out about check, checkmate and stalemate. Then we move onto some simple tactics, perhaps some forks or checkmate combinations, some basic opening principles and some simple endings. And what else, you might ask, are you expected to put in a chess book for children?

My experience, though, based on many years’ experience working with young children, is that while most 7-year-olds have little difficulty learning the moves and being able to play a legal game, getting any further is too much for them. After a short burst of enthusiasm they get stuck, decide chess isn’t for them and give up.

The problem is that many young children simply don’t have the cognitive or self-regulatory skills to access concepts such as looking ahead, making decisions, thinking before you move and using logic to choose moves. So, while they derive some short-term enjoyment from the game, they gain little or no long-term benefit, just a sense of frustration and maybe failure.

CHESS FOR KIDS offers a different approach to teaching chess to young children, using the game as a teaching tool which can deliver a wide range of thinking and life skills. Readers follow the story of Sam and Alice, who join the army and prepare to fight the evil aliens in a game of living chess. Sam, like many boys, is enthusiastic but impulsive, does things without thinking, and when he makes a mistake or finds something too hard he wants to give up. He wants to become the king in the army, but to do that he has to learn to think before he acts, to listen to the other members of his army, to consider his choices and think ahead before making his decisions. Alice is intelligent, but can be timid and sometimes lacks aggression. As she wants to be the queen in the army she has to learn to be braver and more positive, because it’s the queen who will capture most of the enemy soldiers and checkmate the king.

By joining Sam and Alice in their adventure, children will learn how to concentrate and focus, how to develop their memory, how to consider choices and make decisions, how to look ahead, about the concept of personal responsibility and accepting the consequences of your decisions, about learning to be patient and learning not to give up when things get tough, and about the nature of courage and heroism. They will learn all this within the context of a story driven by subversive humour.

Further details at http://chessforkids.org.uk/index.htm

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:13 pm 
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Ian Thompson wrote:
I'd like suggestions for a book please.

My 6 year old nephew was bought a chess set for Christmas (not by me). His father knows how the pieces move but no more. I only see him once every few months, so help from me will be infrequent. What book(s) would you suggest for him that might make him more interested in playing a game of chess than a game on his PSP?


Hi Ian,

Trust me when I say, chess books and 6 year olds - not a good idea.

I have a seven year old and an eleven year old who play and I have found that computer games are the best and most fun way to learn fast.

Lego chess is superb. I bought it for my first son (by accident) when he was just 6 and he has never looked back. I did not know what I know now, which is that it has brilliant cartoons and fun tutorials which my son worked through on his own. He used to sit and giggle for hours with it.

There is a website which I would recommend which is chesskids.com. It is something to do with a mum or dad nearby when they are six as it does require being able to read and perhaps might require a bit of chatting about after. Again, it is fun and brilliant.

Avoid anything which does not make him smile.

Not sure if this helps, best wishes for his chess,

Krishna


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:24 pm 
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Chess for Kids and http://www.chesskids.com both cover very much the same material, which is not surprising as I wrote them both.

It really depends on the child. Some children of that age enjoy reading, or being read to. Other children will prefer other media, which is why chesskids.com now includes a series of videos produced by Peter Lalic again using the same material, as well as our interactive lessons.

Within the next few days I hope to write something about how parents can identify their child's unique learning style and choose the environment and media mix which will enable their children to get the most out of chess. This will be part of a new series of essays on various aspects of chess teaching which can be found here.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:27 pm 
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Richard, how much commission is Ian on for this advert? :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:33 pm 
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Alex Holowczak wrote:
Richard, how much commission is Ian on for this advert? :wink:


:lol:

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:58 pm 
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Richard, Just so you know - I intend buying a copy when my 3 year old daughter wants to do more than set up the board.

So far she really wants to place the second queens that come with the set somewhere on the board. She's not happy for them to just 'watch' the game :-)

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:03 pm 
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Gareth Harley-Yeo wrote:
Richard, Just so you know - I intend buying a copy when my 3 year old daughter wants to do more than set up the board.

So far she really wants to place the second queens that come with the set somewhere on the board. She's not happy for them to just 'watch' the game :-)


Thanks, Gareth. Sounds good to me!

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:07 am 
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I'd recommend the Tim Onions books. There's a book on Opening, middlegame and endgame, and they're easily digestible for kids

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:42 pm 
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Richard James wrote:
Chess for Kids and http://www.chesskids.com both cover very much the same material, which is not surprising as I wrote them both.

It really depends on the child. Some children of that age enjoy reading, or being read to. Other children will prefer other media, which is why chesskids.com now includes a series of videos produced by Peter Lalic again using the same material, as well as our interactive lessons.

Within the next few days I hope to write something about how parents can identify their child's unique learning style and choose the environment and media mix which will enable their children to get the most out of chess. This will be part of a new series of essays on various aspects of chess teaching which can be found here.


Hi Richard,

Sorry to have not made the connection from your first posting with regards to chesskids!

I just wanted to say a few words about chesskids and training. I hope you don't mind.

Rohan did learn so much from it. It is particularly excellent for parents/guardians on a budget as it is free! Many parents do come to me and ask me what is the best way forward for their child. I always recommend chesskids!

I am not an expert but I can tell them what nobody told me.

There is much that can be done that is free or relatively inexpensive. The first is to take a look at chesskids. It is actually not just for kids, but also for adults. I have been recommending it to the parents who do not play chess and have had a very positive feedback. Everybody loves it.

The next step, is to make use of what else is free on the internet - websites where you can play chess for free and where there are puzzles for free.

If you can, to find software which is cheap (again Legochess - which cost me £2.99) and is brilliant for kids.

Finally to start attending regular training days. There is no national strategy at the moment for these, but if you live near Kent or are willing to travel, then I can recommend these (see KJCA website) These will bring your child up gradually in a structured and organised way to a decent level.

I am sure that training and development will be addressed one day at a junior level for all children and that there will be a 'roadmap' which parents/kids can follow. Hopefully this will be on the actual ECF website, it is a big 'hole' which does need to be filled.

Krishna


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:51 pm 
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Krishna Shiatis wrote:
I just wanted to say a few words about chesskids and training. I hope you don't mind.

Rohan did learn so much from it. It is particularly excellent for parents/guardians on a budget as it is free! Many parents do come to me and ask me what is the best way forward for their child. I always recommend chesskids!


Hi Krishna

Many thanks for your kind remarks. I hope you like chessKIDS mark 3.

There's a lot to talk about, and I agree with much of what you've posted in other threads. We certainly should be doing a lot more for our most promising players than we are at the moment.

My main interest, though, is to make sure every child gets the best possible start in chess. At the moment the kids at the top are those who get proactive support from fantastic parents like yourself. The kids who are not getting help and support at home make little progress and drop out of chess quickly. I've spent many years watching this happen and it breaks my heart. There must be better ways of starting kids off in chess than the way primary school chess clubs work at the moment, and that's what I'm currently looking at.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:24 pm 
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Richard James wrote:

Hi Krishna

Many thanks for your kind remarks. I hope you like chessKIDS mark 3.

There's a lot to talk about, and I agree with much of what you've posted in other threads. We certainly should be doing a lot more for our most promising players than we are at the moment.

My main interest, though, is to make sure every child gets the best possible start in chess. At the moment the kids at the top are those who get proactive support from fantastic parents like yourself. The kids who are not getting help and support at home make little progress and drop out of chess quickly. I've spent many years watching this happen and it breaks my heart. There must be better ways of starting kids off in chess than the way primary school chess clubs work at the moment, and that's what I'm currently looking at.


Hi Richard,

Thank you also for your kind words. I think you are doing a superb job with your websites and wish you much success. Also, you have an excellent and proactive attitude towards the training and development of all children in chess.

I think that you are quite right in that we do need to investigate ways of bringing more kids into chess and do something about the 'drop-out' factor - I too, have noticed this, especially those who do not have the same levels of support from parents/others.

I am impressed that you have picked up on Peter Lalic. He is one of our promising youngsters who is making chess 'cool' for other kids. I refer once again, to him putting his games to music and doing instructional videos (for free as well!).

I do hope that the ECF also wakes up to guys like Peter and yourself who are out there doing so much and that they do promotes this kind of talent as best as they can.

Best wishes and thank you for all that you have done for Rohan and Kiran,

Krishna


Last edited by Krishna Shiatis on Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:08 pm 
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Ian Thompson wrote:
I'd like suggestions for a book please.

My 6 year old nephew was bought a chess set for Christmas (not by me). His father knows how the pieces move but no more. I only see him once every few months, so help from me will be infrequent. What book(s) would you suggest for him that might make him more interested in playing a game of chess than a game on his PSP?


Ian,

Are you after a book / DVD that the child themselves will read or one for an adult to help teach the child?

Assuming the former then I would suggest you look at the "Fritz and Chesster" DVDs (from ChessBase) http://www.chessbase-shop.com/en/categories/130

or Susan Polgar:
Learning Chess the Easy Way - Chess for Absolute Beginners http://www.chesscentral.com/Susan_Polgar_Learning_Chess_the_Easy_Way_p/2729589.htm

both aimed at young children.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:48 pm 
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Frtiz & Chesster is great, but, realistically, 6-year-olds aren't going to be able to learn chess on their own, from a book, software or a website, but will need significant adult support. Parents also need to consider screen time recommendations for kids - maximum of 2 hours, probably more like 1 hour for 6-year-olds.

The Tim Onions books are also great, but it takes a couple of years for most kids to reach the point where they're not leaving pieces en prise every few moves so are ready for that sort of technical instruction.

One of the main points of my new book is trying to teach kids not to leave pieces en prise.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:48 pm 
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Hi Richard.

Here is a great coaching tool. :)

http://www.redhotpawn.com/blog/blogread ... gpostid=40

Your Chess for Kids site is brilliant.
I send piece hanging adults there from RHP.

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