Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Only Chess Forum

Only Chess Forum

  1. Standard member byedidia
    Mister Why
    21 Mar '13 22:36
    I teach a bunch of kids chess. The most difficult thing for them to be able to learn is how to win the won game. So many blunder back a piece or, more common, stalemate their opponents.

    Do any of you have any advice on how to teach kids to close the deal? What is it that makes it so hard to see that stalemate?
  2. Standard member SwissGambit
    Caninus Interruptus
    21 Mar '13 23:36
    Originally posted by byedidia
    I teach a bunch of kids chess. The most difficult thing for them to be able to learn is how to win the won game. So many blunder back a piece or, more common, stalemate their opponents.

    Do any of you have any advice on how to teach kids to close the deal? What is it that makes it so hard to see that stalemate?
    Stalemate is a strange rule. It seems like it's a good thing to bind up an opponent to the point of total immobility.

    Blundering pieces never goes away. I'm still doing it after all these years of playing. All you can do is drill them on tactics and improve their awareness of common ways to win/lose material.
  3. 22 Mar '13 00:39
    I always like to see juniors swapping off pieces (especially queens) once they are material up. Not necessarily if they have an overwhelming attack, but if they have won a piece by a fork or pin trick then every pair of pieces exchanged brings them closer to a won endgame. It's painful to watch games swing backwards and forwards as the side with a material advantage can't cope with looking after all the pieces on the board.

    However in endings you should always look out for ways to simplify to an easily won endgame by giving the material back. Here is an example from a game I played earlier this evening:

    From move 34 onwards I knew that the clearest path to victory was to swap off my rook for his knight once I had ensured that the resulting king and pawn ending was won for me.
  4. 22 Mar '13 02:10
    When I'm a piece up that means I have two to sacrifice. 🙂

    Saccing back (what an ugly term - there must be somethis better) is the sole
    preseve of the piece up player.
    Always look to give back the material if it exposes the enemy King.

    If you can see no way of saccing back then attack the King.
    The defenders best defensive policy (swapping bits) is what you want.
    So use your extra piece, out gun him.

    Stalemates.
    Without seeing any examples I'm guessing the kids are stalemating
    a lone King v King & Queen.

    He is a fail safe method to teach the kids to win this ending.
    The Queen is a Knight.

  5. Standard member byedidia
    Mister Why
    22 Mar '13 04:59
    GP, I've shown them and they have mastered that very technique, but the warning you give on move 11 often doesn't stick. More common though are stalemates with more pieces.

    Some recent stalemates, white to move.

    White decides he's going to promote the pawn. h6 1/2-1/2


    White fiddles with the king, going back and forth and around... Kd4, Ke4, Ke5, finally Ke6, 1/2-1/2

    I have seen this one at least three times.

    Again, white decides to promote. f8=Q 1/2-1/2

    I encourage them to promote to rooks, but they love their queens!

    And yes, the other issue is when a player wins a rook in the opening, then doesn't know how to exchange down without dropping an extra piece or two. I've got them working on tactics, but it's sometimes painful to watch them simply miss-count and exchange away more than they get.
  6. 22 Mar '13 15:46 / 1 edit
    Well the let's hope they learn from their losses and stalemates.
    It really is the only way. You have to lose by every method till the lesson sinks in.

    You can go on and on and on about the dangers of say, bring out your Queen
    too early. But they won't heed it till they lose their Queen in 10 moves.

    Remember your Russian proverb.

    There are two kinds of chess player.
    Those that have been back rank mated and those who will be back rank mated.
  7. 23 Mar '13 22:08
    Compliment to magnus in round 6 that the conversion process was smooth by his opponent