Resources for coaching 11+ students

National developments, strategies and ideas.
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Andrew Zigmond
Posts: 1314
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:23 pm
Location: Harrogate

Resources for coaching 11+ students

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:20 pm

This ties into the Harrogate Youth Chess Club thread but I thought I'd start a new topic to ask a specific question.

For those organisers with a proven track record in bringing secondary school age students on; what resources did you use to teach and coach? Is there a structured syllabus in the public domain? Is there interactive equipment available in the digital age? Is there a good way to assess a student's strengths and weaknesses? At present I'm groping in the dark slightly - sometimes I'll look at a few puzzles with my students, sometimes I'll look at openings or endgames but generally I make it up as I go along.

Obviously there's no specific right or wrong way to train and young players learn in different ways (some will study, others will just want to play) but I'm interested in how the experts make it work.
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

MStaniforth
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:03 pm

Re: Resources for coaching 11+ students

Post by MStaniforth » Sun Mar 05, 2017 2:57 pm

Certainly I've got no proven track record, but I do have a couple of opinions on the matter in terms of what I've experienced/do experience with students I've taught and am teaching (aged from 8 and above into secondary school age).

Chesstempo.com is extremely helpful. It's free, and once you make an account you can solve unlimited tactics problems. Not only does the site give you a rating (an ELO rating which is vaguely comparable to a FIDE rating - although not really), but it lets you see the problems you have solved, how long you spent on them, what the "rating" of the problem is (the average rating of a person who correctly solves it), and more other stuff.

The crucial thing is that it lets anyone else see that information too. I get my students to give me their user name, and then I spy on them! :D

Otherwise I have my various (constantly changing) opinions on what should and should not be taught - and in what ways. I find that a relatively quick way to assess a student's ability is how quickly they grasp K+P vs K positions. If they already know those, then I like to check various other "logical" endgame themes like triangulation, seizing the opposition, etc.

My reasoning is that these are not necessarily theory-based ideas, but inherently logical.

Hope that's at least vaguely helpful, even if it's not from the people you wanted.

Andrew Zigmond
Posts: 1314
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:23 pm
Location: Harrogate

Re: Resources for coaching 11+ students

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Mon Mar 06, 2017 3:36 pm

Just to say thank you to M Staniforth and those forum members who have contacted me by PM. I'll be following up on the suggestions raised later this week.
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

Richard James
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Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 7:34 pm
Location: Twickenham
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Re: Resources for coaching 11+ students

Post by Richard James » Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:04 am

I'm currently working on a series of books designed mainly for children who have learnt the basics and would like to play competitive chess. This may well be exactly what you're looking for.

If you're interested I can send you more information about the project.

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