Dr. Alexey Root taught the older and more chess-experienced campers July 18-22 at Greenhill School. Class size varied from five to eight campers as some campers had trips or other events scheduled during the week. Here is an outline of her plans for the week.
Monday: Have campers play for fun and assess their chess levels. Discuss drills in chess and compare to drills in sports and music. Teach the two – rook checkmate and have campers practice in pairs. Test campers individually on the two-rook checkmate and, for those who have mastered it, teach the one-queen checkmate. Pairs of campers do a Forks worksheet (10 problems from Pandolfini’s Beginning Chess). Play for fun.
Tuesday: Discuss what is checkmate? What is stalemate? Students practice and test on two-rook checkmate and one-queen checkmate. Lecture on the en passant rule. Criteria Challenge, from Science, Math, Checkmate: 32 Chess Activities for Inquiry and Problem Solving. Rules of castling, then the Game Theory challenge from Thinking With Chess: Teaching Children Ages 5-14. Play for fun.
Wednesday: Continue testing two-rook and one-queen checkmate. Battleship Chess, from Children and Chess: A Guide for Educators. Scholar's Mate, how to stop it, introduction to notation, from Read, Write, Checkmate: Enrich Literacy With Chess Activities Ruy Lopez, Exchange Variation worksheet. Play for fun.
Thursday: ABCD opening principles from Read, Write, Checkmate: Enrich Literacy With Chess Activities, related to the Ruy Lopez, Exchange Variation. Pair up to play a notated game where each player tries to follow the ABCD opening principles. Test campers individually on two-rook, one-queen checkmates after each has his notated game reviewed by Dr. Root. Those that can demonstrate each are taught the one-rook checkmate. Tactics worksheet with forks, pins, discovered attacks, skewers, and overloading, as also covered in Prepare With Chess Strategy. Campers choose between individually doing the knight’s tour on diagram paper or playing each other for fun.
Friday: Notated chess game with a partner. Then show the notated game to Dr. Root, who analyzes it with the camper. Each camper tests on two-rook, one-queen, and (if applicable) one-rook checkmate. With a partner, solve six checkmate-in-one problems. Of the five campers in attendance on Friday, all could demonstrate the two-rook checkmate, four could also demonstrate the one-queen checkmate, and one could additionally demonstrate the one-rook checkmate.