Dr Alexey Root

MonRoi

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Dr. Alexey Root gave one example of a checkmate and one of a stalemate on the demonstration board. Then she asked Greenhill School students to pair up and then create four checkmates and two stalemates. Beginner and intermediate students got to use a white king, white queen, and black king. Advanced students used a white king, white rook, and black king.

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Greenhill Chess Club students played the Game Theory challenge from Thinking with Chess: Teaching Children Ages 5-14. The advanced group had to notate their “castling” games, while the other two groups did not.

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For October 14, Dr. Alexey Root taught the Tandem Chess exercise from People, Places, Checkmates: Teaching Social Studies with Chess. Students in the A group partnered with students in the C group. B group students partnered together. Thus teams were balanced to play one tandem game as White and one tandem game as Black against another team. For example, a team of a A and C player played two tandem games versus a team of two B players.

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The beginners learned the values of the chessmen, for example a queen is worth nine pawns. Then the beginners played Exercise 7 “Queen versus Rook and Bishop.” from Read, Write, Checkmate: Enrich Literacy with Chess Activities.

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