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The Return to Over-The-Board Chess

After more than a year of online chess substituting our presence in over-the-board events, we are now slowly but surely returning to the chess clubs, the tournament halls, meeting our chess friends in person. So, what does that mean for those wanting to play?

Chess Parenting: Being good at chess has nothing to do with it
 Most chess parents know very little about chess. Their kids quickly surpass them leaving the parents to wonder “How can I help?” Simple… provide chess opportunities! Grandpa might give your child a chess book, maybe a tournament is just around the corner, or perhaps a chess club is starting at school – many chess opportunities will pop up and it is your job to determine which ones are worthwhile. 

Getting involved in Scholastic Chess

Maybe your child just learned to play chess and wants to find new opponents and places to play. While there are a lot of opportunities to play chess across the county, it can be difficult to find a game if you do not know where to look. Another way to get involved is to help your state affiliate or even USChess!

Becoming a Tournament Director

One of the best ways for chess parents to become involved in chess is to become a tournament director, or TD. As you are probably aware, a TD is a USChess-sanctioned official who runs rated chess competitions. If you are sick and tired of being bored, sitting around, and waiting while your child finishes their round, you can get involved and become a TD!

When is Resigning a Game ok?

“Quitters never win, and winners never quit” is always true in chess. However, from a parent’s perspective, what expectations should you have of your kids? Let’s explore it. Compare the two statements made by kids at a recent chess tournament:

“I quit because he was winning.”
“I quit because in 3 moves he was going to checkmate me with his rook and knight – I was helpless.”

How to Learn from the Best

There are two ways to guarantee improvement in your chess play. The first is to review and analyze your own games, learning from your own mistakes. The second is to review the games of strong masters, so that you can try to play like “the best.” There are several reasons to study the games of the old masters, and they aren’t just a history lesson!

Ups and Downs of Chess

Whenever you play chess, you must learn how to cope with the ups and downs of chess. As a chess instructor, I regularly tell people “I am in the business of teaching people how to lose constructively.” Like anything, chess can be full of obstacles. Interestingly, the obstacles in chess are almost always you.

Types of Chess Books

There are different types of chess books out there and I am going to explain the various kinds to you. If you are looking to buy some chess books, this will give you a good way to understand what to look for on your hunt. I will also share common search terms for these books as well.

Getting Involved in Chess

1.They want to grow their rating through tournament play
2.They appreciate chess books for reading
3.Some people like to collect chess books but rarely read them
4.Many find teaching chess to be a lot of fun
5.Collecting higher end chess sets is quite common
6.Becoming a tournament director to help at local events
7.Becoming a US Chess federation state delegate to help shape the US Chess Rules Book
8.Running for state level office within their state’s 9.US Chess affiliate
10.A parent whose child became interested in chess
Chess journalism

Parents - Get Started in Chess

My recommendation for every new student of chess is to begin by learning the language of chess which is called “Chess Notation.” I always tell people that once you can read, speak, and write down chess moves, you suddenly gain the ability to read millions of chess books, watch millions of chess videos, and you can save every game you ever play.

Endgames Explained

The question of “When does the endgame begin and the middlegame end?” is one many people struggle to answer. Similarly, to the definitions of openings and middlegames, there is no clear definition of the endgame. However, it generally occurs after a period of liquidation (trading of pieces) when both sides only have pawns and a couple of pieces.

Openings

One of the reasons there are so many different resources for learning chess (books, software, coaches, articles, blogs, videos, etc…) is because chess games can be broken down to 3 different phases. Each phase has its own principles and mysteries for players to learn and uncover. The next 3 articles will explain each phase and share resources to help you learn about the phases of the games.

Middlegames Explained

The most common question is “When does the Opening end and the Middlegame begin?” Like the definition of an opening, there really is not a specific definition that can guide you about the middlegame. However, the idea of having a strong opening means you will have a playable middlegame. “Playable” suggests your opening will have given you some long-term strategies to pursue that can be used to determine what moves to play. 

Experiencing Failure

Yes, your first-time-chess-club-going-beginner-level kindergartner will be ready for tournaments much sooner than you think. Not only do these little tykes play in tournaments, they win! So why should you bother going to chess tournaments anyway?

Chess Clock Time Controls

There are many different types of time controls in chess. For those that don’t know, a time control is the amount of time each side gets during a tournament. Here is a quick primer on common time controls that occur in US Chess tournaments. But before we get into time controls, you must understand about time delay and increment clock rules.

Chess Equipment

“I want to buy my son some chess equipment. But there is so much! Do you have any suggestions?” is an all too common question asked of me. So, here is a thorough walkthrough on how to buy chess equipment. When starting out, you’ll need a chess board, a set of pieces, a bag to hold it all, and a chess clock. 

Analyzing Your Chess Games

Every player eventually must face an undeniable truth: do I want to put effort into improving at chess or do I want to stagnate? If you’re interested in improving, the crucial skill you must develop is analyzing your own games. There are different levels to this skill which I will share with you and I will like you to products along the way that will help you.

Notation

Sitting next to his drink was a tissue. It would move slightly throughout the game due to the air vent above our heads. It only blew onto the board once and he removed it with an apology. After my he lost the game, he promptly used the tissue to wipe away the game score “preparing” for his next game. Whenever I teach kids or talk to people about analyzing their games.

World Chess Championship and Kids

In November of 2018, Fabiano Caruana challenged Magnus Carlsen for the World Chess Championship. He was the first US-born player to play in a World Championship match since Bobby Fischer triumphed over Boris Spassky in Reykjavik in 1972 and the first US player to play for the title since Gata Kamsky in 2009. Though Fabiano didn’t win, we remain excited about the prospect of another American World Champion, and there is no reason that kids can’t get excited, too!