Chess is a popular game for all ages and genders. Chess is not only fun, but it also sharpens minds and improves reflexes of the players.
A lot of parents enjoy this game and want to teach their children how to play with pieces too. However, playing chess can be a challenge for small kids.
Chess is undeniably complicated, but with the right introductions, kids can get a hang of it quickly.
1. Familiarize your kids with the pieces
You want to play the game, first, you must know the rules. Getting your kids to understand the black-and-white board and the pieces will always be the first step.
Giving them short and clear explanations, along with demonstrations if needed, is important. Chess pieces resemble its name, so it is easy to remember that way. Make sure that your kids can identify a Queen and a Knight properly.
Next is to teach them how each piece moves. This process may take weeks or months. Don’t try to rush, take time and let the kids learn at their paces.
A good method to learn chess is by watching chess lessons online. These videos give easy-to-remember instructions and funny examples.
Another way is to play with your children. Learning through practice always works. Let your kids make mistakes and try to correct them gently. They will remember better that way.
2. Why do the pieces move?
Next, your kids need to understand the objectives of the game. In other words, they need to know when one side wins.
The main purpose of a chess game is to protect our King and capture the opponent’s King. The players can use various moves and strategies to win the game.
When your kids understand the objective of chess, they will have ideas about protecting the King. At this point, parents should teach them basic strategies and terms used in the games to assist them.
There are numerous books showing good chess strategy for kids, some of the recommendations are:
- Winning Chess Strategy for Kids by Jeff Coakley.
- Chess Strategy for Kids by Thomas Engqvist.
- Chess for Children: How to Play the World’s Most Popular Board Game by Murray Chandler.
- Chess Puzzles by Murray Chandler.
3. Practice first with the Pawns and then the others
A trick to avoid your children getting confused over the pieces is starting the game with only one type of piece. Commonly, we will start with the Pawns.
It will be a game with only Pawns when your kids can learn how they move and capture their opponents. It will be much easier than a real game, and more suitable for kids.
After children are well-versed with them, you can gradually add other pieces – Knights, Rooks, Bishops and more. Make sure your kids are comfortable with each type of piece and use them well before adding.
This method will cost more time and effort than playing all pieces at once, but it is more effective.
4. Give your kids a handicap
We all need a handicap as a beginner. Your kids are no exception.
When facing you – an experienced player – giving them a better head start to compensate for what they lacking. It will make the parents less over-powered, and your children have more chances to showcase their potentials.
When your kids become stronger and can defeat you with a handicap, you can remove it and play with them like usual players.
5. Rewind the moves
Normally, in a chess game, when you move your pieces, you can not take it back. Nevertheless, during teaching your kids playing chess, you can allow them to rewind the moves.
The reason is that kids are inexperienced and hasty, they can move the pieces before they think it through. Instantly, they either regret doing it or come up with another better move.
Let’s give them a chance to correct their mistakes. They will also have a chance to rework the strategy and sharpen their game sense.
But, parents should limit the times of taking it back. Don’t let them freely rewind the move, only allow them around 10 or fewer chances. It will help them think more carefully before making decisions.
6. Examples are helpful
When the kids are ready for strategies, parents can use examples from real games to model checkmate patterns and good tactics.
Besides, watching role models will surely encourage your kids. Aspiring grandmasters and kid players will make the game more appealing.
Parents can let them read the stories of young and famous chess players. If possible, let your kids learn the strategies and moves of those figures.
7. Stress-free game
Remember that chess is for fun, so no stress should be placed on your kids. Putting too much pressure on them will be discouraging and counter-effective.
No Stress Chess is a good method for young beginners. This board game includes instructions for setting up and playing an easier version of chess. It teaches children how the pieces move, but with less knowledge required than a regular chess game.
When your kids are confident with the No Stress Chess, they can move to play in the standard game.
Or, parents can keep a fully equipped chessboard in the house so the family can take part in the game everywhen. For example, dad and the daughter on one side, and mother and son on the other side.
The family members can move the pieces on their side whenever they pass through the board. The whole family can discuss the strategy together and help each other find out the best moves.
8. Off for real gameplay
Once your kids learned the art of chess, now you can play with them like peers. Now you both can have a lot of fun together.
During your games, if your kids make any mistakes, parents should correct them right away. And try to be patient and tolerant, they are beginners and need time to develop.
Chess is one of the most recommended games for child development and education. So, if your children are interested in chess, let’s support them with all your might!