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Subject: coaching

im coaching my high school's chess team, and most of the players there are beginners and i dont know how i should teach them or what i should teach them first... what should i do?!



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Tell 'em....

Message: make as few pawn moves as possible (if necessary, glue the a, b, g, and h pawns to their squares), get their pieces out quickly, and castle. Then their armies will be ready to do battle. They can refine on all this later, when they have some playing experience.



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do they know how to move the pieces yet?
i think you should show them some tactics too, so they know what to do with their pieces when they get them out.
maybe some knight forks, bishop pins, common mates. discovered attacks... how to mate with 2 rooks and king, king and queen.

i was thinking about this today because i would like to teach beginners too at some point and would like to know a good method.
hope there is a lot of contribution here from people with experience (or people who are just smart). i don't have any experience teaching.



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Two suggestions

1) Check out "Basic Instructions" at
2) Make it fun



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A Good website...


It is a site dedicated to teaching chess but has some great opening summaries etc for more experienced players.



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I am teaching

my wife and daughter. I think the way to do it is to start at the end and work backwards. I am using this order:

1. basic checkmates (Q+K, R+R and R+K). 2 rooks is actually the easiest and should probably be taught first. Forget about teaching fancier mates for a LONG time.

2. Brief intro on how the pieces move -- one piece on the board at a time

3. rooks - double attacks, pins, skewers, discovered attack. all tactics taught with only essential pieces on the board

4. bishops - again, the basic tactics, with minimal pieces on the board necessary to teach it

5. Queens -- this should serve as review

6. Pawns -- forks, queening, etc... Play the "pawn game" where all 16 pawns and nothing else are on the board

7. Knights -- knights are hard so just practice moving the darn thing around before teaching forks.

8. Point value and counting attackers & defenders.

9. Very basic concepts with all the pieces -- i.e. develop, castle, etc...

10. Play first game.

Anyway, thats all the roadmap I need for now since I'm starting from scratch. Obviously, some of this can be skipped or done faster if you are dealing with someone that isn't starting from scratch.



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I'm a high school player...

...and I consider myself a pretty good player. But I haven't played on Gameknot to accuratly judge my strength.

I think the two things that helped me improve the most were solving Chess problems and studying chess principles. The problems helped me with my tactics and the principles helped me better understand strategy.

The Most Important Principles (I think) for Beginners Are:

1. Make Sure to keep your king safe!

2. Castle Early!

3. Strive to control the center!

4. Develop your pieces early!

5. Strive to give your pieces the greatest mobility!

6. Always have a plan!

7. (This is an important one) Think about your moves! Play Slowly! Don't make moves without thinking! Sit on your hands if you have to!

And there are several compendiums of chess problems to help your students improve their tactics.

I hope I haven't wasted your time,
Honinbo Shusaku



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thx people :-)

honinbo_shusaku, are you in uscf? if so whats your raitng?

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