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RE: chess clubs for youths  MacFarquhar, Carole (NBPLS/SBPNB)
 Nov 08, 2010 08:46 PST 

Thanks so much.

Carole

-----Original Message-----
From: Fred Kirchner [mailto:FKirc-@daytonmetrolibrary.org]
Sent: November 8, 2010 12:35 PM
To: taga-@topica.com
Subject: RE: {TAGAD-L} chess clubs for youths

see answers embedded after your questions...

Fred Kirchner
Teen Librarian
Wilmington Stroop Branch Library
3980 Wilmington Pike
Dayton OH 45429
937.496.8966
fkirc-@daytonmetrolibrary.org

...in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.

Anne Frank (1929-1945)




-----Original Message-----
From: MacFarquhar, Carole (NBPLS/SBPNB) [mailto:Carole.Ma-@gnb.ca]
Sent: Mon 11/8/2010 10:31 AM
To: 'taga-@topica.com'
Subject: RE: {TAGAD-L} chess clubs for youths


The questions keep coming.

Do you keep a participant list with names and approximate playing levels.
***NO: But I try to keep a list of phone and email contacts. With just around 10 players that I know, I think I can keep their levels in my head. Many more competitive scholastic groups keep a 'ladder' chart, a ranking of strengths based on kids USCF ratings, but we're not that competitive

Do you keep track on a weekly basis of who plays who and who wins? Or should this be left for tournaments only?
***NO: Yeah, this would be for tournaments only. Too much focus on winning and losing takes some of the fun away, I guess.

Do the kids select their own opponents?
***NO: I usually match them up, but am flexible enough to let kids ask each other to play. Sometimes, one of the other parents will offer to play a kid, which I always support as well...

If so, do they tend to always play against the same person, or do they switch around? Or are they told who to play with, either random selection or according to playing level?

Thanks.
Carole

-----Original Message-----
From: Fred Kirchner [mailto:FKirc-@daytonmetrolibrary.org]
Sent: November 6, 2010 6:13 PM
To: taga-@topica.com
Subject: RE: {TAGAD-L} chess clubs for youths

The last two months, I had 10 folks--some kids, some parents (they like to play as well). I try to go for the family-friendly vibe with this program. Today, I had none! And after I prepared an awesome PowerPoint on the history of chess! Dag!

I try and invite kids who know how to play, cause having both at the same program is tough. I will sometimes give a kid a quick lesson while at the ref desk if they are interested and we're not so busy.

Most months, I probably have 7 to 10 players. Most of the time, no coach besides me, although parents watch and interject as well, and I have a friend who sometimes comes to lead lessons--as he's a total whiz and very active in the USCF, playing adult tournaments and the like.

Once the kids know how to play, they pretty much take care of their own games--that's been my experience. I will sometimes watch, of course, out of curiosity, and with younger players, an eye to correcting grevious mistakes.

Hope this helps...

Fred Kirchner
Teen Librarian
Wilmington Stroop Branch Library
3980 Wilmington Pike
Dayton OH 45429
937.496.8966
fkirc-@daytonmetrolibrary.org

...in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.

Anne Frank (1929-1945)




-----Original Message-----
From: MacFarquhar, Carole (NBPLS/SBPNB) [mailto:Carole.Ma-@gnb.ca]
Sent: Sat 11/6/2010 4:52 PM
To: 'taga-@topica.com'
Subject: RE: {TAGAD-L} chess clubs for youths


Thanks for the tips. I have never played a pawn game - will try this. I may be back with more questions. Such as.... Just for comparison, how many players to you have on average, and how many "coaches"? Do you need a coach per game?

-----Original Message-----
From: Fred Kirchner [mailto:FKirc-@daytonmetrolibrary.org]
Sent: November 6, 2010 5:10 PM
To: taga-@topica.com
Subject: RE: {TAGAD-L} chess clubs for youths

Hello:

I run a chess club at my library (monthly) and previously coached chess at an elementary school where I taught.

One way to help the kids with chess (and with English) is to teach them chess notation. If the kids are new to English, this will help them learn some letters and numbers. First, though, they have to master the basic rules. Take it piece by piece. Start out new players with a pawn game (only pawns on the board). First to break through and reach the other's back rank wins. Make sure then know the basic pawn moves & captures.

Then add the major pieces one by one: knight, bishop, rook, queen... Once you start adding major pieces the object of the pawn game is to capture all of your opponents pawns, but you can only capture with a major piece.

Chess puzzles are also good. I frequently use them with my group. The book Square One by Bruce Pandolfini is a good place to start, but there are tons of chess puzzles online.

Another great resource is the CD-Rom Maurice Ashley Teaches Chess. Maurice Ashley is the first African-American chess grandmaster and the ESPN Chess Commentator. Very fun CD!

The best way to gauge players' strengths is to play them oneself and see how their game is. You can also see who can solve chess puzzles involving 'mate in one'--those who can see the solutions quickly are usually the strongest players.

Hope this helps! It's hard, though, to work with novice and experienced players at the same time. Maybe you could have the novices come one week, or a tad early, and do some work with them.

good luck,
Fred

Fred Kirchner
Teen Librarian
Wilmington Stroop Branch Library
3980 Wilmington Pike
Dayton OH 45429
937.496.8966
fkirc-@daytonmetrolibrary.org

...in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.

Anne Frank (1929-1945)




-----Original Message-----
From: MacFarquhar, Carole (NBPLS/SBPNB) [mailto:Carole.Ma-@gnb.ca]
Sent: Sat 11/6/2010 3:51 PM
To: taga-@topica.com
Subject: {TAGAD-L} chess clubs for youths


Does anyone have any experience with chess clubs.

I have a base participant group of "newcomer" students (mostly Korean), ranging from 7 to 14 years old. Some play chess now, some wish to learn.

The chess club is scheduled for 1 to 2 hours every Saturday afternoon. It is open to the general public but at this time it is all Newcomers. The goal is to offer a place to play chess and develop skills, while practicing English.

I have 7 or 8 chess sets for 10 to 20 students, and 2 skilled players (a parent volunteer and a staff member) who are the "advisors". I play too, but at a fairly basic level, and I won't be available every week. I do have 2 mothers volunteering to supervise, but they don't play chess. My plan is to have several games going at once, and anyone not playing can learn by observing other games.

I am looking for ideas how to match the players, how to help them learn without having 1 "advisor" per board, etc. Or any other tips you might have.

Thanks in advance,
Carole MacFarquhar
Saint John Free Public Library
Saint John, New Brunswick
Carole.ma-@gnb.ca


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