Tips for Teaching Kids the Art of Chess
Many parents are eager to share their love of chess with their kids as soon as possible. They picture cozy winter evenings centered around the family chess set, or maybe they envision their child growing up to be a competitive chess player. Teaching the rules of chess is surprisingly easy, and children’s memories are far more absorbent that we realize. But there are other parts of the game that take time to learn.
Teaching Kids Chess
It’s best to start slow, and teach kids to understand the chess board, the chess pieces, and the simple rules of game play. Don’t overload them with information about strategy just yet. For now, play mini-games that pit a pawn against a pawn, or just the pawns and Kings.
Get them talking during the game. Ask them to explain all the possible moves that you could make on your next turn. This helps kids retain information about possible moves, and also encourages them to begin thinking more strategically.
Don’t forget to place an emphasis on game etiquette. Traditional etiquette rules of chess include not touching any of the chess pieces unless you plan to move it; not touching the board when counting squares to plan a move; not distracting an opponent while he or she is contemplating their move; never asking to take a move back; never showing impatience while an opponent contemplates; and always maintaining a sportsmanlike attitude.
Finally, don’t forget to have fun! Chess is a great game to teach your child, and makes an excellent bonding moment for you and your son or daughter. Don’t get so caught up in strategy that you miss the fun you’re having pitting your wits against theirs. With plenty of practice and patience, your child will probably surprise you with a brilliant winning strategy someday soon.