Improving Scholastic Chess
One of the best experiences a child can have while in school is to be part of a strong school team. Most kids will join groups that are built around sports. One of the advantages of joining a chess team is that the child doesn’t have to wait until middle or high school to play because most chess teams are made of elementary school players. Scholastic chess is designed for children from kindergarten to high school. The tournaments offer an opportunity to strengthen the skills of the beginners, individuals participating, and the opposing teams. The players of a team can play against others based on their team. The tournament will last a half a day for several days. However, if your child starts playing chess, that means you will have to create a bookshelf for your child to learn so fast. For parents who would want their children to play, here is the guide to introducing your child to the game;
i. Identify if the child is ready to play
Children in school or any learning institution will get themselves involved in the game, and to find out, the parent has to ask the coach because they understand the child well. If the child wants to play, he or she should have a general knowledge of the game. For instance, the player should know what pieces are, how to move the pieces, and how to play it. The child will also try to play it, and the coach and the parent are supposed to write the reviews. For those who have played the game for a long time, they can use clocks, and the beginners will slowly learn.
There is also the emotional side of the child being ready to play. The coach or the parent must determine whether the child is prepared to accept defeat or victory graciously. This will mean that the child doesn’t cry or whine when they lose. Ensure that the child can sit through the game without talking to the opposing team player and, above all, enjoys the game whether they lose of win. Chess is all about winning, and children enjoy winning. However, the best players will always know that more losses help them learn a lot. The way towards becoming a star and an advanced player is by taking the challenge to play more influential players and sometimes lose.
ii. USCF ratings
A chess player’s strength is measured using the USCF rating. USCF rating is a system that measures and tracks winnings, losses, and draw records. For each player, the scores will start at 100 and can go above 2000. At a score of 2000, it means that as a player, you have highly advanced.
iii. Structure of the tournament
Tournaments usually take place on Saturdays and Sundays, with a series of matches set to occur. At the end of the games, there are awards given to the winning teams. Beginner matches are offered less time, but after the match, they are invited to play another match. Continuous playing for the beginners will help them build on their confidence as well as have fun as they learn to test their skills. May scholastic tournaments happen in the greater Atlanta area and occur in one day.
iv. Logistic details
There is some necessary information you will want to verify about the player. For instance, the names of the players must be spelled correctly, and registration is done since it is a necessity for every player. Also, the player has to be playing either in the rated or in the unrated section. The size and the host of the tournament matters a lot because these factors will dictate where the game takes place. Small tournaments will use a small area as their waiting area for them, their parents, and food vendors. There is a closed area that will host them as the match kicks off. Huge matches will have huge rooms full of coaches to guide the players in between the rounds and for their family members to relax as they play. Before the matches kick-off, the tournament directors or their assistants will post the matches by section.
As a parent whose child is playing, you will have some expectations about the game. However, you have responsibilities towards your child. The first thing to do is to ensure that your child had a good night’s sleep before the day of the match. Also, having a healthy breakfast is helpful. Carry with you plenty of water and healthy foods for your child to take in between rounds. Other things that must be with your child during the match include;
• Chess notebook for recording moves
• Two pencils
• Travel chessboard to use for practice
• Small toys for diversion when not practicing
• Money to buy an extra snack
• Let one parent or a coach be there for the child during any one break to help the child with any emergencies or problems.
General tips to improve scholastic chess
1. Analyze your games
As a chess player, whether young or an adult, you must learn to analyze your sets. This means that you will discover your weaknesses and where you go wrong when playing. However, it is essential to understand that this will take a lot of time and effort and even more, being honest with yourself. This is the first step towards becoming the best you can in the scholastic chess game. Consider this step taking advantage of your inner sight to improve the foresight of your future games.
2. Learn opening systems and setups before lines
Opening systems are learned by sitting down with your book and playing through the lines. However, most of the time, backfire since human brains work well by association. Before deciding to sit down and do your variations, it will be better is familiarise yourself with the opening systems. Understand the first general principles of the opening systems, like controlling the center, and castling early. The process is beneficial to the player as they will find out that some of the moves are common. Instead of committing the lines to memory, try to understand the opening principles and find out what specific line to focus your attention on.
3. Learn endgames
Learning endgames can be a challenge since there are fewer books about it compared to the openings. However, pick the best book from those little available and, above all, make use of the experience from your previous games. Also, use previous games played by masters before to learn about endgames.
4. Learn pawn centers and nuances
This will involve learning the differences between fixed, mobile, open, closed, and fluid pawns. A player who understands the differences of these pawns benefits from an enhanced middle game. Also, understanding the differences in techniques, strategy, and limitations will have control of their string to the bow.
5. Avoid favoring pieces
Learning chess means continuously being told about the importance of pieces. Some information has it that bishops are better than knights. However, in as much as these pointers will help a chess beginner learn the game and know the value of the various bits, they are also a limitation and can close the minds of the players. A player will concentrate on getting bishops without knowing that the other player will eventually get a good position with the knights.
6. Learn how to think
A chess game is not as simple as people might think. The player has to think their way around approaching the game and getting a good position. Tactical positions will want the player to do precise calculations and make valid variations. Once the player understands the different processes used in various types of positions, their game will come on top in no time.
7. Play turn-based chess
Most players play chess over the board with one another and sometimes prefer online live chess. However, correspondence chess is excellent in allowing the player to analyze their positions and therefore, should not be overlooked. Correspondence chess gives the player a lot of time than usual. It is also used by beginners who are still learning their openings.
8. Adopt a grandmaster
Choosing a grandmaster and a good one for that matter to follow can help a new player build on their skills. Ensure that the person you choose is similar to you in their playing style. Analyze their games and make sure to observe how they handle certain situations. You can learn a lot from this and take positive influences in the grandmaster.
Exercising makes both your body and mind active. Exercise will help your brain function better and stay focus. Most of the great chess players are busy people and do activities such as walking and swimming in their daily lives.
One can learn chess within a short period, except becoming the best and the top in the game will take a good time and some efforts. To have a deep understanding of this game will take much time and a lot of experience as well. This is why only a few people can call themselves grandmasters. If you go into the game with the focus to become one, expect disappointments. However, if you go into it the game because you think it is beautiful and fun, you will enjoy it and wish to learn more every day. The passion will drive you to practice now and then.