Play chess better, enjoy chess more!
Please show a parent this guide sheet.
Chess will improve your concentration and thinking skills and it is fun to play, especially when you win! Once you know the moves the 4 most important things to help you improve are:
  1. Have a thinking routine for every move.
  2. Practice tactics.
  3. Know basic endings.
  4. Know how to play the first few moves.
Also, make sure you know how to castle, and why you must always do it.
Make sure you know the en passant move.
Thinking routine: take your time
  1. Every move, find every piece.
  2. Can you take anything?
  3. Can your opponent take anything?
  4. Can you threaten anything?
  5. Be calm. Before you play your move, pause, wait, is it a mistake?
Computers, Books and Internet
Note to parents: I think that all the sites below are very suitable for children but please check them yourself.
  • Chess Cornwall for very local information including local events, junior competitions and advice, daily chess problem, local clubs, and contacts.
  • Devon Chess is a fine site to see what goes on in local and national chess
  • Exeter Chess Club Tactics Course (free download) and also see the rest of their site exeterchessclub.org.uk/ which has lots on junior chess.
  • Follow international chess online The Week in Chess (TWIC) News, and top games.
  • Free tactics on Chess Tempo (zoom in to enlarge, set preferences > standard, easy). If you like the site, then the paid-for material is even better.
  • Register with chesscube.com at ChessCube and play online. It's free.
  • Buy (less than 4) "Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess". Age range about 8-12. Fun, effective! www.old-games.com/download/5108/bobby-fischer-teaches-chess
  • Chessbase Reader lets you look at the vast range of Chessbase games. I can email thousands of games to you on request.Combine this with "Fritz 11 for PC" (less than 10) for top-class analysis.
  • Some beginners' games with commentary 50 Chess Games for Beginners
  • You can buy a book on chess tactics. Look for one that is for beginners or juniors. For example: "Winning Chess Tactics for Juniors" by Hays is good, but it is not easy. I like the look of "Power Chess for Kids: Learn How to Think Ahead and Become One of the Best Players in Your School" by Charles Hertan.
  • Use Chess Tactics Server for lots of practice in tactics.
  • Chess Visualisation Training (CVT)
Essentially all chessplayers (adults and juniors) improve by solving positions, so books with suitable problem positions are the best. Very few under-11 children learn much from the text in chess books, so an adult (even one who does not really know how to play) needs to be alongside the learner.
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