Scholastic Chess Camp

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June 16, 2013
7:30 A.M./Sunday
Scholastic Chess Camp 2013

Our Camp shirts are here guys!

Chess laboratory 101

It is the second week of the camp and we're in deep with tactics, captures, checks, getting out of checks and writing chess moves. A lot of collaboration between the two classes have taken place and this gives everyone a chance to share their understanding of the game towards one another. 

I made my first hundred.
Our campers have settled into their session routines and this helps all of us to focus more on the lessons during this week. They have began to like their morning exercises as well and comes to class more relaxed and sweaty.

My first thousand.

How 'bout the pawns instead of this ball?


Higher, higher, higher!

I am your master! Go higher!
For the Knight class, we studied more on tactics: Skewer and a review of Forks and Pins. Drills on finding checkmates in one and two moves were done. A discussion on the basic use of our body in playing chess was discussed (eyes-brain-eyes-brain-hands) and asking the right questions mentally (thinking process in chess) to find the right continuation or moves were discussed too. A review of chess notation was done with the Knight class too.

For the Pawn class, we learned and exercised on piece movements and captures. Recognition of checkmate patterns were introduced and meeting the 4 basic conditions of checkmates were also discussed. Chess notation or the writing of chess moves was introduced and this will be reinforced in the next session. This will allow the campers to enjoy reading chess books and replay the games they play anytime they wish to do so.

Pawn capture, trading and exchanges.
I'm done, I'm done!

Finally I got your Queen!
For the next two sessions, 5th and 6th, the Knight class will work on:

  1. Basic Opening Principles 
  2. Continuation on Skewers, Pins, Forks
  3. Mate in 1 exercises (Diego and CJ)
  4. Mate in 2 exercises (Drew)
  5. And daily mini-tournaments with the coaches  

The Pawn class will learn more about:

  1. Chess notation
  2. Recognizing Basic Checkmate Patterns
  3. Special moves (Castling, Promotion & En Passant)

Daily Mini-tournament for the Knight class!

My smile, my chessboards

And lastly, you may want to encourage our campers to play chess with you at home to allow them to put in practice the lessons learned in our camp. They may also join free chess playing websites like ChessDOTCom and ChessCubeDOTCom. Please remind them to play longer time controls (nothing less than 30 minutes per player) for this will "force" them to use the "look-evaluate-look-evaluate-move-a-piece" process. Once they've gotten used to this, the more successful they will be in playing chess.

They may also visit Chess KIDS Academy for self-tutorial. I am giving away a copy of Chessmaster Grandmaster Edition software and if your camper wants to have a copy, just let them bring their laptop and I'll install the software.

Schedule this week:

For this week's schedule: Tuesday (June 18) and Thursday (June 20)

Knight class:  8:00-11:00 AM
Pawn class:    9:30-12:00

Thank you.

Coach Francis

June 8, 2013
7:30 A.M./Saturday
Scholastic Chess Camp 2013

We've had the first two days of our Scholastic Chess Camp 2013 last week with Drew and CJ for the first batch (Level: Knight) and Aaron, Antonio, Ethan and  Joaquin for the second batch (Level: Pawn).

Diego Santos who will be joining the Knight class next week to complete our final list of campers.

The Knight class had a review of chess literacy and an introduction to chess tactics: double attacks. We will be working on three more tactical motifs next week namely: pins, skewers & in-between-moves.

The Pawn class learned about the chessboard and the chessmen. It was amazing to hear them talk about their chess knowledge and experiences in playing the game. We will continue our chessmen lessons and winning at chess next week.

From 9:30 to 10:30 A.M. the two classes are combined and they collaborate on finishing a project or an activity. The first day, they tried to make the highest tower using chess pieces and it was won by CJ and Ethan. For the second day they made a chessboard with their own choice of colors and materials.

The winning pair!

Drew and Aaron at work

Joaquin and Coach Ferdie

Joaquin at work

All sessions start with a warm-up physical exercises for about 10-15 minutes. Much of the target skill is on the eye and hand coordination. It was interesting to hear them ask us why we need such physical activity to play chess. They would say "oh!" whenever I reply back "a healthy mind in a healthy body".

Homework were sent for the weekend to further their mastery of the lessons we've learned in the camp. It would be a fun activity to work on it with your children.

For this week's schedule: Tuesday (June 11) and Friday (June 14)

Knight class:  8:00-11:00 AM
Pawn class:    9:30-12:00


Coach Francis
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