Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Chess Files

The Chess Files
The answers are out there.
By Jim Eade

Chess Files 16 diagram.pngIn a previous column I asked, “At what age can you begin to teach chess to a child?”   Dr. Alexey Root made a convincing case that you can begin as early as five years old in her new book “Thinking with Chess”  (Mongoose Press.)  Another book from Mongoose Press “Chess is Child’s Play” by Laura Sherman and Bill Kilpatrick suggests that you can begin even earlier.
The book contains a chapter on special exercises “For Two-to Four-Year-Olds.”  They say that four-year-olds tend to move much faster through the exercises provided in the chapter than do two- or three-year-olds, but that it all depends on the child.
Some children work through these exercises in one or two lessons, while other might spend a few months on this chapter alone.  They provide the following caution: “if they are not ready, hold off until they are.”
This book is intended for parents who wish to help their kids learn chess, but any adult working with young children will find it useful.  There is a great deal of material and it is presented in a wonderfully unintimidating fashion.  I have never worked with children that young, but the authors clearly have.  This is a terrific resource.
Mongoose Press also deserves some praise, and not just for making these resources available.  The books are also beautifully produced.  Well done!
The world’s top rated player Magnus Carlsen continues to impress.  His spectacular victory of Hikaru Nakamura in the 75th Tata Steel Chess Tournament: 11 - 27 January 2013 in Wijk aan Zee, clinched first prize with a round to spare.  Here is the final position:
Black resigned, because of the threat of f6-f7 +.

As always, you can send your chess questions directly to me at

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