Summer Camp Starts August 1st!

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What About the Endgame?

As you know, not every game is decided by a tactical shot in the middlegame, or an opening trap! I believe there is great value in players of all levels learning to play fundamental, level appropriate endgames. It helps with confidence during the games, it helps students understand what they’re aiming for, and it helps them better understand the properties of each individual piece. I want to talk about some of the tools that are available for children to improve their endgame skill. If you have a child rated 0-1500 who likes to study independently, I strongly recommend the programs Chess Tutor Step 1, Chess Tutor Step 2, and Chess Tutor Step 3. If you google chess tutor EU (European...

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Electronic Resources for Solving

Solving exercises from books is one of the best ways to train the skill of finding the best move. But for many children, consistent book work may not be as realistic as solving problems on the computer. Fair enough! This is why Alex and I have meticulously entered Steps problems into chessbase, to be able to assign them on our online platform as HW. New Steps classes start this coming week - all the information is here: https://masterchess.org/collections/all There are other electronic resources I wanted to draw to your attention as well. Chessity is a website I have used with my own students for many years. I think I was the first mass adopter among American coaches. I remember my contact...

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What Kind of Game is Chess?

What sort of game is chess, anyway? The question is quite important, when you start thinking about how children can improve efficiently. I want to talk about an interesting distinction I first learned about when I was in graduate school, working for Chess In the Schools.  I was discussing opening principles with Mitch Fitzko, a National Master who has been successfully teaching children the fundamentals for many years. He made some insightful points that had never occurred to me - I was impressed! I realized that Mitch’s chess knowledge and understanding went far beyond his official US Chess rating. At the time, there were some very strong young chess players at IS318k, where Mitch was teaching the beginners one day...

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