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 Post subject: Coaching juniors
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:28 pm
Posts: 40
Location: Torquay
Good afternoon all.
Probably against my better judgement, as I have God knows how many roles (arbiter,grader, captain, fixtures secretary etc) I am about to get back into coaching juniors.
I gave this up about 7 years ago when work commitments meant I couldn't dedicate the required time to it.
However my daughter in law teaches at probably the most deprived school in the area and has convinced me that the success I had years ago could be repeated and would certainly be appreciated.
To be honest I wouldn't have considered getting involved again except in circumstances like this , the children at the school need to be able to 'prove' they have some worth, some of the stories she has told me are heartbreaking.
However, she feels that by learning chess ,it will give them a sense of achievement(uk chess challenge, entering local competitions etc)and from past experience , I see the benefits it will give them.
The point of this post is that ,as I have been out of the loop for so long ,I need to know which are the best books to buy to enable me to coach them, the books/dvd's etc that I used 7/8 years ago have probably been surpassed , so all advice,wether about books or otherwise will be well received. :)


Last edited by John Ariss on Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Coaching juniors
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:34 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:10 pm
Posts: 353
John,

Might be worth looking here: http://www.chessinschools.co.uk/

I'm still looking for a book on fair pairings for you :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Coaching juniors
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:37 pm 
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Location: Torquay
Cheers Brendan
By the way you have a bye in the first round at Torquay this year :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Coaching juniors
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:15 pm
Posts: 784
Location: Hampshire
John Ariss wrote:
Good afternoon all.
Probably against my better judgement, as I have God knows how many roles (arbiter,grader, captain, fixtures secretary etc) I am about to get back into coaching juniors.
I gave this up about 7 years ago when work commitments meant I couldn't dedicate the required time to it.
However my daughter in law teaches at probably the most deprived school in the area and has convinced me that the success I had years ago could be repeated and would certainly be appreciated.
To be honest I wouldn't have considered getting involved again except in circumstances like this , the children at the school need to be able to 'prove' they have some worth, some of the stories she has told me are heartbreaking.
However, she feels that by learning chess ,it will give them a sense of achievement(uk chess challenge, entering local competitions etc)and from past experience , I see the benefits it will give them.
The point of this post is that ,as I have been out of the loop for so long ,I need to know which are the best books to buy to enable me to coach them, the books/dvd's etc that I used 7/8 years ago have probably been surpassed , so all advice,wether about books or otherwise will be well received. :)


I doubt you would need chess books at first to teach these children if the school has no chess club and i would guess most of the children may not be able to play chess and would be learning from you how to move the chess men etc.
No point buying loads of chess books DVD until you see what standard the children are at.

I be back here tomorrow bye for now :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Coaching juniors
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:57 pm 
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John Ariss wrote:
... so all advice,wether about books or otherwise will be well received. :)


Any question about the what, whys and wherefores of junior chess can be answered with two words: "Richard James".


Or you can just buy a job lot of those "new" military chess sets and see if that works ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: Coaching juniors
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:03 pm 
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Jonathan Bryant wrote:
John Ariss wrote:
... so all advice,wether about books or otherwise will be well received. :)


Any question about the what, whys and wherefores of junior chess can be answered with two words: "Richard James".

-- text left out --


Good point. Richard's website is: http://www.chesskids.com/newcourse/index.htm


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 Post subject: Re: Coaching juniors
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:18 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 6:34 pm
Posts: 760
Location: Twickenham
You might also want to read my articles here and here, although most of this is based on my experiences in Richmond rather than the type of school you're talking about.

Yes, you should definitely contact Chess in Schools & Communities who will no doubt be able to help. My view is that all young children should be encouraged to play board and strategy games, but that many children will gain more benefit, at least in the short term, by playing simpler games where the rules are easier to understand and there are fewer choices. When young children play games with too many choices they end up doing the first thing that comes to mind. As it happens, there are many 'pre-chess' games you can play using some of the pieces which could be used as an introduction to chess.

If your daughter-in-law wants to contact me directly that's absolutely fine.

John, on a totally different subject, I've been meaning to contact you for some time as I've been doing some research on the Ariss/Ayriss/Aris family, particularly the branch who were in Croughton, Northants in the mid 19th century. If you're interested in this please let me know.

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 Post subject: Re: Coaching juniors
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:28 pm
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Location: Torquay
Thanks to all for the advice
Richard, Just for information, I taught children for about ten years with a fair amount of success, after being encouraged by an old friend of us both Mike Fox,so I have him to thank for my now re-kindled enthusiasm, he got Tony Miles to 'bully' me after I helped out at checkmate many years ago :) .
As for the other point, I will pm you.


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 Post subject: Re: Coaching juniors
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:04 pm 
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John Ariss wrote:
I need to know which are the best books to buy to enable me to coach them, the books/dvd's etc that I used 7/8 years ago have probably been surpassed , so all advice,whether about books or otherwise will be well received.


There's new material on the market but not sure if it "surpasses" what was available previously. If -- big "if" -- your youngsters know how the chessmen move and could profit from a book, then I think Tony Gillam's Simple Checkmates would be an astute choice. Followed possibly by the games in Chernev's Thousand Best Short Games of Chess (book is sadly out of print but a pgn file can be downloaded off the net).


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 Post subject: Re: Coaching juniors
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:36 pm 
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I would agree that you don't really need books - at least for quite some time after starting. Remember a lot of children are put off by books; it's too much like the ordinary schooling they get for the rest of the day. Also, some may not even be able to read very well.

I did some chess coaching of 9 and 10 year-olds in a Junior school not long ago and never got to the stage of needing books. I made a one page crib sheet for them with basic ideas about how the pieces move and some advice about development, etc. They wanted to get on and play against each other, nothing else, so I may not have been that successful.

Robert (lifelong professional teacher before retirement)


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 Post subject: Re: Coaching juniors
PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:25 am 
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1) Make sure its fun.

2) Get them to practice basic checkmates against you. They will enjoy the fact that they have "beaten" you.

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 Post subject: Re: Coaching juniors
PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:32 pm 
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Location: Croydon
David Blower wrote:
1) Make sure its fun.

2) Get them to practice basic checkmates against you. They will enjoy the fact that they have "beaten" you.

To which I would add:
3) Make it competitive - run a chess ladder, leagues, UK Chess Challenge etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Coaching juniors
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:49 pm 
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[FEN "r1bq1rk1/pp1pppbp/2n2np1/2p3N1/3PPB2/2N4P/PPP2PP1/R2QKB1R b KQ - 0 1"] [SetUp "1"] *

One thing I would ask is when I sometimes go over previous chess games played by our only junior at the club, he is honest enough sometimes to admit: "I don't understand why my opponent played that move."

How can I explain in a way in which he understands why I think his opponent did make the move suggested. Consider the position above: NB it is important to note this is not an exact position from one of his games. However it is the type of position I am on about.



Our junior player is white. It is blacks turn to move. His idea is to play Bc4, supporting the idea of attacking the f7 square so that Nf7 can then be played (attacking the queen.) The king and rook of black is defending f7.

Before you ask he is a good player, and this type of move at his school works all the time. But it doesn't work when hes playing at the chess club.

Black plays Re8 so is not anymore defending the f7 square. He then admitted to me he couldn't understand why this would be played because after Bc4, blacks move, and then Nf7 the king can't take because it will be check by the bishop, and the rook can't take because its been moved away from f8.

(Of course after Bc4, black plays e6 to block the attack on f7. I know this, you all know this, but how can I best explain it to him.)

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 Post subject: Re: Coaching juniors
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:15 pm 
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Location: Carlisle, Cumbria
I would say in some sort of supportive yet honest way that his opponent is perhaps more experienced. Accordingly, he knows intuitively that f7 isn't a weakness in this position - this lends itself to training discussions on 'find the weaknesses' in a variety of positions, where you can also set some traps with the positions you give (such as x is a weakness in one position, but then towards the end of the exercise you give a very similar but different position where x is NOT a weakness). Since he knows f7 isn't a weakness, Re8 doesn't constitute a time-wasting move. Then you can ask him to take Black after Bc4 and find all the ways to stop xf7 being a valid threat (disregarding for now any discussion of BN/R+P). If he struggles to see that ...e6 is there (disregarding its strength for now, since if you also mention that at the same time, it may lead to a faulty general assumption from his part about that move), then you can discuss it as an interfering move, or as a move that is good anti-Bishop territory, and again branch into finding blocking/anti-Bishop ideas in other simplified positions where there is no guff and dandruff, just a core setup of pieces.

If he has trouble understanding why his opponent played x you can offer the advice of
a) Visualise the position after your man's intended next move, work out the threat, and find ways to either stop that threat, or create a bigger one (again, always disregarding the evaluations for now until all such moves are found, then you can work down those lines - it's important that the player should get used to seeing big threats rather than hand-wavingly dismiss them on intuitively calcing them as not providing anything, since otherwise his vision may be clouded in future)

b) If he is certain there is no block to what is a threat contained in a bad move (since if the move is stable itself, the threat being nullified presents no problem), he can laugh the move away and carry on with his plan.

I don't know what grade your player is at but it isn't so relevant really if his general skills are well-rounded. Hope that helps!


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 Post subject: Re: Coaching juniors
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:37 pm 
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Thanks. I suppose the idea of playing the moves of his opponent is one I will try. (Of course if I am doing a review of his game, after the game, he will already know what his opponent played anyway!)

And yes hes only 10, so it is generally true his opponent is more experienced. His ECF grade is ungraded, but I estimate it would be about 60-70.

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