66

What else can I do to make her understand this Wait a few years. A 6 year-old's mental capacity is very limited. The good news is that at that age and for several years to come her mental capability is increasing rapidly. Trying to teach a 6 year old the same way you teach a 12 year old is stupid whether it is maths you are teaching or chess. At 6 the ...


65

The answer is very simple. A 6 year old child does not have an adult brain. It has the very immature, underdeveloped brain of a 6 year old. It has a short attention span and struggles to sit still for 5 minutes let alone spend 5 minutes on just one move. A few years ago I was chief arbiter for three junior tournaments held at the same time. I got one of the ...


31

At 5 years old a child's brain is still very immature. The good news is that it is also developing very fast. The easiest and most effective solution is just to wait. Within a year or two the problem will have solved itself as your child's brain develops enough to satisfy your expectations.


29

From my 15 years experience as a chess teacher - and then chess dad. Stop telling her to think longer ! This is the wrong thing to do. First, it is useless: as you have noticed, even telling her so 30 times didn't improve her thinking process. Obviously, she is quite smart, so she must have totally understood your point about playing too fast. She got it, ...


25

Math educator here. It's very difficult for children at this age to think much ahead in their heads. According to Piaget's theory, they don't even reach "concrete operational" stage at this age, which roughly means thinking by manipulating objects. According to Piaget, this is stage is between 7-11 years. It seems your daughter already reached this one. ...


24

In order to prevent my answer to be misunderstood/wrongly interpreted, let me state few thing now, at the beginning: I LOVE to play chess. I am inactive, and doubt I will ever play on tournaments again, but I still follow the game. Now, let us proceed towards answering the OP's question: ...I know many people who stopped playing competitively after ...


16

Dan Heisman writes about this in one of his books. He states that 90 % of children who start in 1st grade or kindergarten stop playing around 7th grade. I have seen this in my work as Executive Director of the Wisconsin Scholastic Chess Federation. Children at this age have had enough chess and want to explore other interests. As an educator I do not ...


16

I am wondering if I should let her start using a chess clock, or should I wait when she gets older. At your daughter's age (5) the most important thing is having fun. If she is having fun now I would skip the clock until she reaches the level where she wants to enter competitions which have clocks. There is certainly no harm in explaining to her what chess ...


15

I would propose another plausible explanation: Time moves slower for children. I don't mean that in a gobbledey-gook spiritual sense but in the sense that the way humans experience temporality is relative to age. One Year for a 5 year old is 20% of their life. One year for a 20 year old person is a mere 5%. This transmutes down to smaller time periods too. A ...


14

In my experience it is likely that kids get interested in whatever you are interested in. So, play a couple of chess games with a friend or set up some chess problems and work on them yourself at a time where your kid can see what you are doing. It is quite likely that your kid will start asking questions what you are doing and wants to play as well. ...


14

Short Answer Just keep doing exactly what you're doing: practicing with her and reviewing the game later and pointing out the main mistakes. Let time do the rest. Long Answer It is amazing that your 6 years old daughter is already at this level. First of all, congratulations. Before going into a suggestion on how to make her improve further, I think it ...


12

Does it make most sense to just start playing with setting up all the pieces, or are there smaller "games" that one can/should start with? It doesn't really matter the age of the person learning to play, there is no point in starting with a full set. There is just far too much to take in and make sense of. The first thing to do is to teach them how to win!...


12

Incentives and/or tactical ability tend to explain this. Sloppy chess against similar fast-moving and reckless competition (U600 - U1200 tourneys or sections within larger tournaments) produces flip-coin level results (or better, if you are slightly less sloppy) results and that's enough for a kid to feel they did okay (or worse yet, report back to the ...


11

On a screen, the pawns are always moving "up". You know her better, so you could pick on of the following things as an example, and let her compare them to the pawns on a screen. airplane. balloon. elevator. escalator. helicopter. ladder. rocket. stairs. Or, if you are religious, well there is that "up" too. When then playing on a board, she would need ...


10

Firstly, I would like to say that her performance is really impressive. Second, I would like to say not to go hard on her, since she might lose the interest and probably feel as if she's being forced to play. The only thing common in most top chess players is that they really enjoy the game and really want to push their abilities despite it being a very ...


10

I tend to disagree with the other answers that suggest starting with just a few pieces. Kids absorb so much, so quickly. When my daughter was 4, she used to just watch me so she got some familiarity with the shapes of the pieces, but there was no teaching at this time. When she was 5, I taught her the names of the pieces, and then how they all moved. I did ...


9

A repertoire is not built overnight, and for most players, having a deep theoretical knowledge is not required. They simply need to understand opening pawn structures. That said, if this child is showing a great deal of aptitude, it may be worth adding this to your study regime earlier than I would normally recommend. I have seen two prodigies up close, and ...


8

The best way I believe is to put them in front of the board and explain that pawns are so brave they only move forward and never move back. If they know the other pawns are his/her opponent's they would understand they move towards them as it's their’s opponents forward. The trickier part would be to explain how the pawns eat. I may say that they eat looking ...


8

Junior tournaments in the US doesn't narrow it down very much. As a chess player living in the US your first stop should always be the US Chess Federation website. If you are looking for tournaments then the USCF has a webpage which allows you to search for "Upcoming Tournaments". You can apply filters for the dates, type of events (Junior Grand ...


7

The simplest and the most effective might be the "count to 5 before making the move" rule. Works like a charm, but doing it all the time will definitely take the fun out of the game. Probably you may advise her to think a bit longer when she's about to make a mistake or allow take back a move when playing together. It's very empowering to feel that "Aha!" ...


7

This is similar to helping a kid distinguish "left and right". Kids at that age are visual, so you could use a black sticker and a white sticker, placing these on opposing sides and tell her that white pawns move towards the white sticker and black pawns towards the black sticker. You can use stickers with images for fun, for example teddy bears.


6

The US Chess Federation's experience (IIRC) was that there is a big fall-off at high school graduation. They used to offer a 5-year discounted membership you could buy at age 18, that I think they hoped would be a good graduation gift. My rather cynical view is that the college chess club tended to have few, if any, women, making it an unattractive use of ...


6

Start by playing with only pawns on the board. First person to the opposite side of the board wins the game. This was Magnus Carlsen's training method used by his father when he started to learn chess. It's much simpler for a child to understand this, and it's a highly effective method to learn about sacrifices, pawn structures and zugzwang. My experience ...


6

When coaching young kids, I have found that they love doing the simple checkmates (King and Queen v. King, etc.). They like beating the coach. There are some good books out there as well that are written at the kids level, but I even use some so called "adult" books that start at the beginning.


6

Learning is a combination of logic and memory. All problems can be reduced to search. Thus, problem-solving boils down to exploring some solution space, and optimization problems involve finding some solution which is better than a solution you already have, up to some time budget. Being able to jump directly into a promising region of the solution space ...


6

I know what type of positions he enjoys playing, so opening will be easy to select. In that case the hardest part is already behind you. Let me suggest the following strategy: Copy the repertoire of a grandmaster. Pick a high-level player would style you think would fit you pupil. The correct pick should be a principled player, who uses regularly the same ...


6

In her TED talk Giving checkmate is always fun, Judit Polgar says (t=0:59): My mother taught me the first moves when I was about five years old...


5

I am going to answer the question from my perspective as a child that that was good and left chess at age 10. I started to play at age 5, my mother taught me how to play. I started to play at school and I won several regional tournaments. I was the best at my region and my age, and I was selected to be trained by GM De la Villa at the federation. This is me ...


5

My little brother learned chess with a video game called "Learn To Play Chess With Fritz and Chesster" (OT "Fritz und Fertig"). It teaches kids the basic moves of the pieces with mini-games, moving on to games with only some pieces, and finally with all of them. The sequels go more in-depth into basic, and then more advanced strategies. He went from not ...


5

As a kid who played a lot of chess from 3rd to 7th grade and then stopped I feel obligated to point out that many children stop not because of loss of passion or online chess or video games, but because they don't have the TIME it requires. Around 7th grade is when many children especially the smart ones like those who play chess start stressing about high ...


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