Stafford Library Junior Chess Club

Coaching Syllabus

The objective of Stafford library junior chess club is to introduce our young children to this marvellous game of chess..

Initially I give the children a simple introduction about how the pieces move, this can take about three minutes.

There is a more complicated adult version which I call “The Robin Hood.” This takes about seven minutes.

I then allow the children the opportunity to play chess with each other.

Stafford library junior chess club is a serious chess club. My first directive to our young players is a simple one. It will stay with them for the entirety of their chess playing lives. Page 69 of “The Chess Scene.” Refers to. “Touch move.” Our young player will learn that if he touches a piece then that piece must be the one he moves. He will learn that moves must be completed in one fleeting action and pieces placed where he wants them to be. This act will demonstrate to his opponent that he knows exactly what he is doing. This might not always be true!

Our young player will be shown how the board should be correctly positioned. With a white square to the right. On a lighter note. It is a smile raising fact that our young player will enjoy. For the rest of his chess playing life, he will watch films especially films that include a chess scene. Checking that the chess board is accurately set up. This is a very contagious bug that you will catch too.

Choosing my moments carefully. I coach simple check mate endings. Page 63. commencing with King and Queen versus a bare King or a King and two Rooks versus a bare King.

As the children progress. My coaching moves on. I play with them a sacrificial form of chess (Ideal for parents) --- Page 62. Children love taking. They enjoy this lesson. It is a fine opportunity for me as the coach to demonstrate further how the chess pieces move. I have the close attention of the young players, and this allows me the opportunity to show and accurately explain the two most complicated moves of the game namely. The castling maneuver and the en-passant move. You can join in too.

Page 36. “The perfect opening.” This is a name I use. There are lots of fancy names for chess openings That you may recognize. “The Sicilian defense.” Or. “The king’s gambit.” The perfect opening is simply a method of developing the chess pieces. Placing them onto active squares on the chess board preparing them for the “Middle game.” Basic chess strategy that even the absolute best chess players’ respect. The first steps towards beating grandad!!!!!!!!!!!!

Allowing my opponent to play the above I respond with “The Black Lion.” Page 114. I play this opening because it allows my opponent time, to gain experience completing the perfect opening. But be aware. This is an advanced system about which entire books are written. It is used in grandmaster play. It is a very powerful counterattacking set up.

For parent information “The Chess Scene.” Is a book I have written which discusses the activities of the English Chess Federation. Chess tournament organization. And the rules of the game. Most importantly it highlights the role of the coach and a basic coaching syllabus for an improving player.

“The Chess Scene.” Is aimed at the novice player who has learned the moves of the game and is seeking to enter the lower levels of club or tournament chess. It contains practical information about playing circumstances that will occur on a regular basis during chess games played by your child. Regardless of the standard of chess your child eventually reaches during their chess playing life.

The book emphasizes the importance of playing with a sporting attitude. That there is nothing wrong with being well turned out and respecting your opponent. It is all part of the game.

I use these circumstances as a basis for coaching, one to one, face to face family group sessions, and in the classroom at Junior chess club.

Yours Sincerely

Alan Ruffle.

English Chess Federation Arbiter/coach.