Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Chess Visualization Exercises

Beacon Chess Club is on its last few meetings before school is out. Yesterday was one of the better days in terms of learning the game with the members. My middle school students hates it when I bring in chess worksheets. They would often complain that they've had too much work for the whole day and that chess should not add to the stresses of schooling.

Yesterday was different.

Since I am a big fan of Jim Mitch's work, also known as Professor Chester Nuhmentz, Jr., I asked them to work on one of the visualization worksheets of Jim. I paired them and made the activity a contest. For an hour, I saw in them the determination to come up with the right checkmate position in a fun but competitive atmosphere.

I don't know with other chess coaches if they find time to ensure enjoyment of the game other than winning. Chess is surely a stressful game in the competitive level. But for club levels whose members are joining because they nothing much to do, or because they lack athleticism to join other physical sports, instilling in their young minds that chess is not a boring game must be the main objective of one's chess coaching.
As a chess club teacher or coach, I have always made sure that this goal is not forgotten or laid on th side for the gold medal. Success in tournaments will come later when the students learn to enjoy the game and self-propel to studying on their own.

Jim's chess workouts one of the best I've used and seen in the last nine years, not to mention the reasonable price he asks for the use of his works.

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