Dr Alexey Root

MonRoi

On Friday, October 29 (4-5 p.m.), I gave a 30-minute lecture about chess ratings and international titles. The handouts "Calculating ratings" and "International Titles and USCF ratings" are available on the Denton High School Chess Club Web site. One question we discussed is whether an amateur chess player has a better chance to defeat a Grandmaster at chess than an amateur swimmer has to beat an Olympic swimmer in a swim race.

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MonRoi

On October 15, 2010, 15 Denton HS students, chess club sponsor Fred Mueller, math teacher Joe Rozell, and I went on a field trip to The University of Texas at Dallas. We got to meet the chess team, tour the library and campus, eat a snack, have a chess lesson from our tour guide National Master Artur Safin, and play chess for fun. The photo is of the DHS students posing with one of UTD’s Grandmaster team members, Alejandro Ramirez Alvarez (seated), and Safin (far right).

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MonRoi

 On October 9, 2010, Denton High School freshman William Root won a $500 college scholarship for winning the high school open section of the Scott Watson Memorial Chess Tournament, held at Jack E. Singley Academy (Irving ISD). Root is Secretary of the Denton High School Chess Club, coached by Dr. Alexey Root (parent volunteer) and sponsored by math teacher Fred Mueller. News coverage of Root's victory is in the Denton Record-Chronicle (In the Schools section, page 4A, October 13, 2010), on the Denton ISD's Web site, on the Denton HS Web site, and as part of the National Chess Day Roundup on Chess Life Online. Alexey Root is also writing a follow up article for the December 2010 issue of Chess Life for Kids.

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MonRoi

I spent the afternoon of October 7 and the morning of October 8 talking about my books to educators, librarians, administrators, and counselors at Encyclo-Media. Sales were brisk, so I got to autograph many books! After I left the ABC-Clio/Libraries Unlimited Booth at Encyclo-Media, I drove to Denton, Texas to volunteer at the Denton High School chess club from 4-5 p.m. Today the students played a ladder game. 21 students attended; more information is at the Denton High School Web site (go to Activities, then to Chess Club).

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MonRoi

On page 9 of People, Places, Checkmates: Teaching Social Studies with Chess is a chart of basic checkmates (endgames). For chess club on October 1, 2010, I had one student teach K and Q vs. K, another teach K and R vs. K and a third teach K and P vs. K and force promotion to a R or Q. When each teacher had trained another student sufficiently well to take over his teaching job, the teacher moved on to teach a harder checkmate on the chart. For more details about today’s meeting of the Denton High School chess club see the meeting minutes.

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MonRoi

For September 24, 2010, chess club participants analyzed the ladder games that they played on the previous Friday. Since there were several people attending on the 24th that were not present on the 17th, they were spectators for the post mortems of the ladder games. For guidance, students followed post mortem guidelines from pages 5-7 of People, Places, Checkmates: Teaching Social Studies with Chess. For even more information about how to analyze chess games and post mortems, see chapter 4 (Write Like a Grandmaster) in Read, Write, Checkmate: Enrich Literacy with Chess Activities.

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MonRoi

Today, September 17, was our first ladder game.  All students were required to take notation. I asked those who had taken notation before to challenge those who are new to notation. That way, the experienced chess players were able to help their opponents keep up their score sheets. The player who won in the least amount of moves got first place on the ladder, the second fastest winner (in terms of moves played) earned the second spot on the ladder, and so forth. Now that the ladder is established, the next time we have a ladder game it will proceed as documented in Read, Write, Checkmate: 32 Chess Activities for Inquiry and Problem Solving.

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MonRoi

On September 10, 2010 Denton High School chess club had its second meeting of the academic year. Nineteen students attended. Meeting minutes are here. When I gave my lecture about the Scholar’s Mate, I was very impressed with the attentiveness and note-taking of the students. After the lecture, they eagerly debated (chess boards and sets out) what the best defense was for black. That is, what is the best third move for black after 1.   e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nc6 3. Qh5

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MonRoi

Other than our planning meeting last spring, today was the first meeting of the Denton High School Chess Club. Minutes can be found here. When candidates made their speeches for officer positions, I found out that we have more USCF-rated players than I thought.  We have players with ratings of 1464, 1287, 1240, and 795. We hope to participate in a tournament in Irving on National Chess Day (October 9).

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MonRoi

The sponsor of our new Denton High School (DHS) chess club, Mr. Fred Mueller, has created a fantastic Web page for the club. Check it out to get ideas for your own scholastic chess club. Also, if you are a DHS student, come to chess club on Fridays, starting September 3. DHS chess club is also looking to play matches with other North Texas high schools. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you are interested.

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