Teaching a child to play Chess: Part IIMikey 6 comments
A breakthrough today. After much coaching I tried to get my daughter to understand that certain chess pieces can only move in certain directions (let alone under certain circumstances).
The problem is she keeps treating it as if there is a story involved, with knights, castles, kings and queens all living together in some fantasy harmony. Fair enough for someone at that age. A solution occurred to me while playing Chess Titans, one of the games that comes with certain versions of Windows Vista.
Chess Titans has an option to show valid moves, which are highlighted by the corresponding light blue squares when you select a piece (screen shot). When you are able to take an opponent's piece, a pink square is shown.
With this option in play, everything I had tried to teach her previously suddenly became obsolete. After only being told once, she understood she could only move onto blue highlighted squares, and a pink square means she could remove an opponent's piece. She never became frustrated and never tried to deviate from the blue or pink squares.
With lots more practice like this, I expect I could disable the 'show valid moves' option and she will hopefully remember where she can and can't move. Stay tuned for part III.