Dr. Alexey Root had students try a Knight’s Tour on one blank diagram before they played Battleship Chess. Several students decided to try a Knight’s Tour again, on a new blank diagram. The Knight’s Tour is in Read, Write, Checkmate: Enrich Literacy with Chess Activities and Battleship Chess is in Children and Chess: A Guide for Educators.
Dr. Alexey Root will teach a Chess Merit Badge Workshop and direct a tournament at the National Scouting Museum. Both the Workshop and the Tournament are open to boys and girls ages 11-18. Boy Scouts can earn their chess merit badges by attending. The Workshop is April 11 and the Tournament is April 18. You must pre-register for both by Wednesday, April 8, 2015.
Dr. Alexey Root showed the Greenhill School chess club students the rules for Battleship Chess, which is a drill from her first book Children and Chess: A Guide for Educators. As students played battleship chess with each other, Dr. Root pulled aside one student at a time for individual testing. She individually tested beginners on the king and two rooks checkmate.
Dr. Alexey Root individually tested beginners on the king and two rooks checkmate. While she was testing, students practiced that checkmate. Since about half of them successfully tested, she showed the king and queen versus king mate to them at the end of their 20 minutes. Dr. Root individually tested the intermediate students on the king and queen versus king checkmate and the advanced students on the king and rook versus king checkmate.
Dr. Alexey Root set up the king and two rook checkmate on the demonstration board for the beginners at Greenhill School. She played the White side and called on individual students to tell legal moves for the black king (using algebraic notation). After she checkmated, she played the Black side (the lone king) and called on individual students to state moves for White in notation.
Dr. Alexey Root reviewed the en passant and promotion rules. Then pairs of students played Pawn Games, with a king and eight pawns per side. Students raised their hands if they were about to play an en passant capture so that Dr. Root could check to see if the e.p. rule was being applied correctly. After promoting a pawn or pawns, students tried to checkmate with their additional material.
Dr. Alexey Root was interviewed for an article about chess in the January 22, 2015 Deseret News. The article’s author, Eric Schulzke, wrote, “One educator who has taken this head on is Alexey Root, a former U.S. women's chess champion who teaches a chess education class at the University of Texas at Dallas.
Dr. Alexey Root will present twice at the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented (TAGT) annual conference. Her presentations, both on Thursday, December 4, are Why Academic Competitions for G/T Students? Insights from Coaches, Parents, and Students (with Dr. Joseph Eberhard) from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. and Chess for Elementary, Middle School, and High School Students (with Ann Boodt) from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. For the rest of Thursday, she will be at The University of Texas at Dallas booth (#419) in the exhibit hall, discussing her online courses and her books.
The tenth and last meeting of the fall semester was for awards. A special cause for celebration was Greenhill School's first place finish November 15 at the "Fit for a King Chess Tournament" at the Episcopal School of Dallas, run by UT Dallas chess program volunteers. After the awards, Dr. Alexey Root supervised bughouse games.
This week, students continued with the fork problem worksheet begun last week. Most pairs completed three or four more problems. A couple of pairs of advanced players finished the worksheet and played Battleship Chess, an exercise from Children and Chess: A Guide for Educators.
Dr. Alexey Root taught forks using problems from Bruce Pandolfini’s Beginning Chess (New York: Fireside, 1993). Dr. Root demonstrated a sample fork position and had students define what a fork is in chess. Then pairs of students set up positions following instructions such as “W: Kf1, Qd1, B: Ke8, Ne4, Pe7. White to move.” After studying the position, students wrote the answer in algebraic notation.