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by Richard James
Sun Nov 29, 2009 12:02 pm
Forum: Junior Chess
Topic: The problems with junior chess
Replies: 118
Views: 12059

Re: The problems with junior chess

This thread seems to have died a premature death. One question, from a relative outsider, is: why has not Mike Basman's schools tournament not seemed to much help the situation regarding encouraging very young juniors to play? (Or perhaps it has and otherwise things would be even much worse?) Jonat...
by Richard James
Thu Nov 26, 2009 10:39 pm
Forum: Junior Chess
Topic: The problems with junior chess
Replies: 118
Views: 12059

Re: The problems with junior chess

It's all too easy to say that we need to produce more GMs so we should start children young and put them into a competitive environment as soon as possible. But that argument has many fallacies. I believe that the main purpose of junior chess should be to encourage as many young people as possible t...
by Richard James
Thu Nov 26, 2009 3:25 pm
Forum: Junior Chess
Topic: The problems with junior chess
Replies: 118
Views: 12059

Re: The problems with junior chess

Steve: I'm pleased to hear the number of secondary school players in your county is increasing. In Surrey there has been a successful (mainly) secondary schools league for many years and quite a lot of players from this league are representing Surrey in the county championship. Here in Richmond, 15-...
by Richard James
Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:03 pm
Forum: Junior Chess
Topic: The problems with junior chess
Replies: 118
Views: 12059

Re: The problems with junior chess

Children now are very different from even 15 years ago. A team at King’s College London led by Professor Michael Shayer has been researching the development of children’s cognitive skills for more than 30 years. In January 2006 they reported that 11- and 12-year-old children in year 7 are "now o...
by Richard James
Thu Nov 26, 2009 1:41 pm
Forum: Junior Chess
Topic: The problems with junior chess
Replies: 118
Views: 12059

Re: The problems with junior chess

Alex: in the 1970s there were literally hundreds of strong teenagers playing chess on a regular basis. Most clubs in the local league would have had several Under 18s in their team. It's wonderful that you are so enthusiastic and commited, but, as you are finding out at University, there are very fe...
by Richard James
Thu Nov 26, 2009 1:34 pm
Forum: Junior Chess
Topic: The problems with junior chess
Replies: 118
Views: 12059

Re: The problems with junior chess

Many thanks for your replies so far. Matt: all your points are very well made. Yes - there is an enormous gulf between primary school chess and even the lowest level of adult chess. If you've never visited a primary school chess club you'd be amazed at how weak most of the players are and how little...
by Richard James
Thu Nov 26, 2009 12:17 pm
Forum: Junior Chess
Topic: The problems with junior chess
Replies: 118
Views: 12059

The problems with junior chess

I have been following with interest the discussion on the World Youth Championship thread. Many interesting and relevant points have been made concerning funding, coaching and team selection. I believe that the paucity of strong players at the top is merely a symptom of a more general malaise in jun...
by Richard James
Wed Nov 25, 2009 10:20 pm
Forum: Congress Results
Topic: 43rd Torbay Chess Congress
Replies: 2
Views: 2621

Re: 43rd Torbay Chess Congress

Many thanks for posting this, Ben.

I note that my long-standing clubmate Michael Franklin shared first place in the Open at the age of 78. Does anyone know what the British record is for the oldest player to win an Open event?
by Richard James
Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:55 pm
Forum: Certificate of Merit
Topic: Certificate of Merit
Replies: 498
Views: 52544

Re: Certificate of Merit

John I note that so far the CoM has been tested using 12-year-old children in independent schools. Is it specifically for children of that age or would it also be suitable for much younger beginners? In many schools children start chess at 7 or younger. Are you planning to test it in a wide variety ...
by Richard James
Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:49 pm
Forum: Junior Chess
Topic: Book Recommendations
Replies: 18
Views: 2433

Re: Book Recommendations

Well, the person I was teaching was much more mature, and had got to grips with calculation, but often struggled to think of things to do. I hoped that by showing the player openings, and telling them a plan in it, they would help to overcome that problem. Armed with a plan, the player seemed to do...
by Richard James
Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:31 pm
Forum: Junior Chess
Topic: Book Recommendations
Replies: 18
Views: 2433

Re: Book Recommendations

That said, I tought the player the French, on the basis that there would be no f7 disasters. I'm never happy about this. If they can't stop Scholar's Mate they shouldn't be learning openings at all. Much better to teach them how to defend f7 than fudging the issue by getting them to play 1...e6. Ho...
by Richard James
Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:23 pm
Forum: Junior Chess
Topic: World Youth Championships, Turkey
Replies: 174
Views: 10896

Re: World Youth Championships, Turkey

It's not necessarily a disadvantage to start at 11 or 12 rather than 6 or 7. In many cases it can be an advantage. Even Magnus Carlsen found chess too hard when he tried it at the age of 5. He tried again at the age of 8 and the rest is, or will soon become, history. It's certainly true that the lat...
by Richard James
Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:04 pm
Forum: Junior Chess
Topic: Book Recommendations
Replies: 18
Views: 2433

Re: Book Recommendations

That said, I tought the player the French, on the basis that there would be no f7 disasters. I'm never happy about this. If they can't stop Scholar's Mate they shouldn't be learning openings at all. Much better to teach them how to defend f7 than fudging the issue by getting them to play 1...e6. Ho...
by Richard James
Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:10 pm
Forum: General Chat
Topic: New English IM
Replies: 4
Views: 1318

Re: New English IM

That's excellent news. Many congratulations to Tom.

Yet another titled ex-RJCC member and the second IM from Sheen Mount Primary School.
by Richard James
Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:05 pm
Forum: Junior Chess
Topic: Book Recommendations
Replies: 18
Views: 2433

Re: Book Recommendations

Paul Many thanks for your comments. There's actually quite a lot about endings later in the course, also in Move Two. My new course, however, will do things very differently with a lot more work on simple positions with a few pieces on the board so - more endings. It's much easier to teach specific ...