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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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Master Chess Summer Camp: Curriculum and Instruction!

When I started teaching at NEST+m, the school gave all of us a handbook. It was exceptionally (excessively?) detailed, containing, among other things, a lesson evaluation rubric and examples of what constituted a successful or unsuccessful lesson. Between student teaching, graduate school, and entering the ‘real world’, I got an idea of what good teaching - really, I should say good learning - is meant to look like.

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