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  1. 02 Jun '10 08:34
    Just the other day she approached me saying she would like to learn how to play chess well. She is 23 and I imagine the greenest patzer that can play a complete game; I'd assume she knows all the rules except for en passant and some details of castling.

    Mind you I have no interest in becoming a professional chess tutor, so I'm not interested in stealing your lessons and selling them around town; don't be afraid to share on account of me. But I would like to provide a good lesson for my friend. So since some of you have experience teaching, I wonder what would you teach?

    I was thinking about just pointing out some qualities of the pieces, stuff that usually escapes beginners -- bishops being stuck on one color, knights alternating colors, the efficacy of doubled rooks, one-touch chess, and maybe some easy checkmate puzzles. Comments? All are read and appreciated. Thanks!
  2. Standard member Diet Coke
    Forum Vampire
    02 Jun '10 09:26
    Have you actually played a game of chess with her?

    That would probably be the first step.
  3. 02 Jun '10 09:34 / 1 edit
    I have not, but she's a close friend and I know that she knows how the pieces move and little else, as we all did once. She stated that she wanted to learn to play well, but that is much easier said than done and most of us lack the resolve.

    So for the sake of having an entertaining evening -- and because it is doubtful this will be recurring -- it would be nice to send her home with a few actionable pointers. But I will definitely play a friendly game with her and point out things as they come up, probably at the end of the evening.
  4. Standard member Diet Coke
    Forum Vampire
    02 Jun '10 09:53
    Do you have any chess books for beginners?
  5. 02 Jun '10 10:17
    A friend of mine wanted to learn more chess than just knowing the rules. We played and he got the advantage to find his own bad moves and retract them.

    If I found out that he mad a really bad move I said "NO" with a loud voice, but he had to find out why himself. If he found it and could explain it, then he may make another move. If not, I showed him by playing out the moves.

    Often I made bad moves deliberately just for him to find it out. Sometimes he won games and was mighty proud.

    He got better quite quickly.
  6. 02 Jun '10 10:33
    If they have a computer, pick up a copy of the latest chessmaster (11?). Chessmaster 10 is pretty good as well and would be even cheaper.

    I am suggesting this not for the computer opponents but for the comprehensive set of interactive lessons and tutorials.
  7. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    02 Jun '10 11:55 / 1 edit
    And don't forget opening principles, center control, knights before bishops, etc. The power of the 4 central squares, the concept that some squares are better than others which you can point out with a knight, say, on A1, showing it only can move two places, then put it on b2, showing it has doubled its power, then showing its full scope on C3, doubling again which gives it all 8 moves on an empty board. That works with the bishop and the queen also, bishop at a1 has 7 squares of freedom, on b2 it can go to 9 squares, on c3 to 11 squares and so forth. Just to get the idea across some squares are better than others and some squares suck. Also, the rooks are the exception, on an empty board, there are always 14 squares available to move to. Show controlling the magic 4 squares in the center and the next layer around as good squares also, etc.
  8. 02 Jun '10 17:21 / 2 edits
    At least give her a game.

    You played and won Game 7061639 print it out and explain
    it to her. The whole game with your ideas and how you won.

    Development, trippled pawns, trapped pieces, passed pawns....

    Because you played the game you can explain the mini plans that went on.

    There is enough there to give her an idea of the game and you the confidence
    in showing one of your own games.
  9. Standard member Thabtos
    I am become Death
    02 Jun '10 20:57 / 1 edit
    First off you have to assess what she knows.

    I would start out by setting up the last position in the game GP posted and have her figure out what the winning move is.

    I wouldn't even think about talking about ideas until you have some notion of what her basic tactical knowledge is.

    Play a game, see how she plays. Don't scold her for an incorrect move, just ask her why she made it. Record the moves, and talk her through it after it's over. Let her do a little annotation.

    Then make her memorize The Encyclopedia of Chess Middlegames and CT Art 3.0.
  10. 02 Jun '10 21:50
    For whatever it is worth, I have in the last year tried to teach my who is now seven year old son to play chess. There were only two three things that worked for me
    (1) I helped him a little bit with opening (nothing fancy just getting out bishops and knight and castling and having a decent structure after seven or eight moves).
    (2) I told him that he is going to lost a lot (close to every single game) but that he'd get better as he played. He plays games and the internet is wonderful because there are people on his level (for all I know they might be seven also).
    (3) I review his games and suggest things (at first it was try not to let pawns take your knights and bishops but later it was more strategic (look for open files to attack)
  11. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    02 Jun '10 23:25 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Tigerhouse
    Just the other day she approached me saying she would like to learn how to play chess well. She is 23 and I imagine the greenest patzer that can play a complete game; I'd assume she knows all the rules except for en passant and some details of castling.

    Mind you I have no interest in becoming a professional chess tutor, so I'm not interested in steali chess, and maybe some easy checkmate puzzles. Comments? All are read and appreciated. Thanks!
    Since your friend is a 23 yr old female, I would recommend that you accompany the lesson with a Riesling from the Mosel River in Germany- there are a variety of excellent brands, and I suggest that any with the words "qualitateswein mit pradiket" or "pradikatswein" would be your best bet (my spelling may be a bit off on the German, as I drank my last one off the rack and haven't replenished :'(

    My experience is that it greatly facilitates understanding of "touch move" and en passant

    Paul
  12. 03 Jun '10 02:50
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    At least give her a game.
    I have an idea.

    Give her a game, post it into this thread and get us to guess who each player was.

    You might get an unpleasant surprise!
  13. 03 Jun '10 03:16
    For raw students I always start with K & Q v K and K & R v K mates.
    It is essential they know this before anything.

    For K & Q I like this position.



    Their task is to mate the Black King on a1 and you are not allowed
    to give a single check. Just checkmate and the Black King must
    be the square a1 when it is checkmated.

    Explain the trick is to give phantom Knight checks with your Queen.
    But NEVER when the King is cornered.

    After they have done that, get them to mate the Black King on h1.

    You can put across quite a lot with this one example.
    Thinking ahead, an endgame technique, stalemate, mating patterns...

    Now they can mate a King on any of the 28 edge squares on a chessboard
    against anyone (or computer) in the whole world by force -
    - and without giving a single check!

    I bet they never thought they could that 15 minutes before the lesson started.

    Their confidence rises and suddenly this game does not seem so difficult at all.

  14. 04 Jun '10 23:25
    Originally posted by Tiwaking
    I have an idea.

    Give her a game, post it into this thread and get us to guess who each player was.

    You might get an unpleasant surprise!
    would you like a game, Tiwaking?
  15. 05 Jun '10 09:56
    Originally posted by Tigerhouse
    would you like a game, Tiwaking?
    Sure! I would love a...

    *sees your rating is 1671*

    Um. I'll be quiet now 🙂