How To Introduce Chess To Kids

When you think of board games to teach children, most of us picture games like Jenga, ludo or snakes and ladders. And yet there is always one ever-present game, Chess. Chess is a classic board game that has been around for ages, it is a game that is not only fun but also influences the mind and helps kids acquire much-needed things like brain growth, creativity and intellectual skills. Before you want your kids to become the next Kasparov or Judit Polgár or maybe you just want them to enjoy the game and use it to help improve their minds, we must know how to start their interaction with Chess.

The Beginning

It is well known that kids can start learning to play chess as early as age 5. Parents need to know how their child handles other games that have a win or loss scenario. You must be sure to consider your child’s maturity level by assessing how they interact. Kids will need to know how to take turns and learn from losses.

The most important of all, parents must ensure their child is interested in learning to play so that the game itself doesn’t become a chore. Always let the kids decide what they love and what they do not. After you’ve assessed your child’s readiness and have determined that it’s time to get started, it’s time to introduce the chessboard and pieces and dig in!

The Introduction

Before you start, it might be a good idea for parents to refresh their knowledge and keep it ready to go. Make sure you know if your child is a visual learner or a verbal one. Depending on this, if your child is a visual learner, you can show them the board and pieces as you go. If your kid is a verbal learner, you can go ahead and teach the names to remember the pieces.

·   Explore the board

Get the chessboard; let them examine the squares, the numbers and the colours. Familiarity with smallest details when growing up is good.

·   Time to meet the pieces

Let your children get to know the pieces and learn the names if they can, they can always learn the exact original names later. So it is okay to get to know the pieces on other things that they can see.

·   Establish the aim of chess

This would be the time you taught how the pieces work to move across the board, you can establish a background story of sorts, and establish the need for each side to defeat the opposite side’s king while protecting their own.

·   How to move and capture

The key here would be to teach them how they move in this order:

o   Pawns

Start with a basic understanding of the little guys, small games and basic rules.

o   Knights

Learning the complex L movement of the horses. Ask them to reach a particular square.

o   Bishops

Easier to interpret and move, small battles with bishops and knights.

o   Rooks

Rook movements would be easy at this point, let them engage with other pieces.

o   King

The objective to defend your king and also capture the other king, cases of check and checkmate.

o   Queen

It is essential to ensure the introduction of the Queen as late as possible when teaching chess. The sheer power of the Queen’s special abilities can make many kids opt for playing with her right from the start. Understanding other pieces better can help your child in figuring out how best to use a Queen to turn the battle around at a strategic moment.

Practice

It is overwhelming to play with all the pieces. You can play special practice games with just a particular type of pieces or combinations. Keep playing with all the pieces on the board once they get familiar. Regular sessions will let them enjoy and explore. This will let them learn too.

Always Keep It Relaxed

Once your child learns to play, your child may want to join chess classes for kids, a club, or other community or organizations that often hosts games and competitions. Some kids have a deep passion for the game and want nothing more than to compete with others to play more games. Other kids, however, may not necessarily like the intense pressure they might feel if they feel forced into a club or competition. Let the children solve special chess puzzles and learn. When looking for good chess academies, let them have access to competent trainers so that they understand what is good for your child and always be supportive and encourage each interaction and appreciate the things they do in class.

Like with anything else, follow your child’s motivation and interest in the game, and don’t push your child to play or do anything he or she doesn’t want to. The benefits of chess might not shine through if a child feels pushed into doing something. Instead, keep the gameplay light-hearted and fun, and pursue the local chess community only if your child shows interest in taking the game further. Always encourage the kids when they play or interact and be supportive of how they play the game. Above all else, do not push the children or discourage them when they lose. Let the children choose what they want to do with Chess.

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