Teaching a child to play Chess: Part II

Mikey 6 comments
  • Education
Teaching a child to play Chess: Part II

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.

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Monday 19th November 2007 | 01:36 PM

Can the game be downloaded? Is it free?

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Monday 19th November 2007 | 07:07 PM

hey mike, i bet within 3 months if she keeps playing on a daily basis
she will be a real challenge....

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Joe Marco

Tuesday 20th November 2007 | 05:25 PM

too cute man.

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Wednesday 28th May 2008 | 02:43 AM

Great job on the article and the video. i am going home today to teach my daughter after a failed attempt at teaching over the weekend. Thanks for the ideas!

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Wednesday 4th June 2008 | 09:50 AM

You are a genius

I wanted to teach my step son that is 4 to play chess and he did things similar to what your girl did, when he took a piece, he called it his friend, when i tried starting over he didn't want to give his friends away, quite funny. i was planning to teach him when he was 5 and get him his first chess board on his 5th birthday but i didn't want to wait and began to get excited to think of him playing

anyways im trying to get my hands right now on chessmaster grandmaster edition since i already have some experience with chestmaster 9000, i believe he will enjoy it, and maybe enjoy it more if it was with Pokemon pieces

thank you for the great tip

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Wednesday 4th June 2008 | 09:57 AM

...in response to this comment by . Thanks Metalblade. I don't consider myself a genius though :-)

I have admittedly been slack getting part III done, but I have been thinking about it and might even do it this weekend.

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