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When is a Good Time to Teach My Kid to Play Chess?

A few questions you may be asking yourself…

What are benefits to teaching my child to play chess?

When is a good time to teach my kid to play chess?

Your situation could be…

  • You are a parent who wants to see their kids unplugged from a device and having conversations over a chess board. 
  • You home-school and are looking for a game that offers fun but tons of educational benefits with a lifetime of value.
  • You want to find an activity that will engage your children for 1-2 hours so you can get some work or chores accomplished.
People in chess school learning the game

Regardless of why you are ready to teach your child chess, the question still remains – at what age should you introduce the game of chess to your kid?  When is the best time for them to start to learn.  The answer is now!  

Chess Made Fun recommends the following activities for these age groups:

0-1 year:

Read a chess book to them.  Your child may not understand but they will be learning the words of chess

1-2 years:  

Purchase a chess set (we recommend a silicone set) with soft but sturdy pieces.  Do not leave your child unattended with the pieces.  Use the chess set for 15 minutes per day, and let them play with the pieces.  Your child may set them on the board.  Teach your child how to say the names of the pieces.  It’s okay if your child doesn’t know which name belongs to which piece. 

2-4 years of age:

Introduce mini games from “Chess is Child’s Play”.  This book will teach any parent how to teach their child chess even if they do not know how to play.  Play these mini-games 10-15 minutes per day until your child conquers the lesson.  

5-10 years: 

Introduce the pawns game.  Once your child is winning – move on.  Introduce the knights game. Once your child is able to collect more than 50 beads – move on.  Introduce checkmate so your child will understand the object of chess. 

Be sure to check out our YouTube Channel for instructional videos on how to play these games. 

Once your child can consistently win 3 games, introduce the rest of pieces that comprise a full chess game.  The book ”Chess is Child’s Play” has awesome mini games that engage your child with a fun and easy way to win. 

Two boys playing chess laying on the floor and thinking hard

If you live in an urban area you already know chess is making a huge reemergence in the US. There are chess clubs popping up all over the US.  If you are teaching your child how to play chess visit your local chess club to find other players in the area.  The age difference will not matter because chess will give your child something to talk about.

The benefits of playing chess have been researched by top scientists all over the world. The game of chess is proven to raise Math and English scores while teaching good sportsmanship to all players.  There are many more benefits that will impress you.  If you introduce chess in the right manner your child will be having fun, and not even realize they are learning.  

How to Set Up and Get an Online Chess Club Going

With COVID-19 and social distancing practices everyone is finding online opportunities to begin chess clubs.  If you are ready to begin an online chess club here are some tips to help you out. 

Chess Made Fun recommends creating a website to update your members on group play, and add content to attract new to beginning players.  You may connect your website to your online community whether it is Facebook, Instagram, lichess.orgchess.com or your own online classroom. 

Below are the top items needed to begin an online chess club:

  • Website – Chess Made Fun recommends building your website with WordPress.com.  You may set up a basic website for free.  A website can help organize club information, provide a site to update your players on events, and create a database of email addresses so you may email club members of upcoming events and news.
  • Online Playing Platform – Determine what website you want to play chess on as a group. Recommended sites are chess.com or lichess.org.  There are other sites that integrate with your website for online tournaments or group play.  If you are interested in learning more send us a message.
  • Calendar – It is important to have a Calendar for your events.  In today’s world it is easy to forget when your chess club’s next event is scheduled.  We recommend creating a Facebook group for your members. You may set events that will send a reminder to your players.  You may also add a public calendar to your WordPress website. 
  • Computer – We recommend playing online chess as a group on a computer. You may play from the web browser on your phone, or tablet, but it’s kind of clunky. 
  • Coaches – To help grow your club, find and recruit chess coaches in your area to join the club. They may offer a good game of chess for your top players, or might be willing to teach an online chess lesson for your new players. 

Once you have members consider raffling off a chess board or t-shirt to raise excitement for your events. 

Don’t get discouraged if there is a low turnout at first, and remember to be consistent to show up to play!

What has helped your online chess club grow in your area?

Five Reasons to Play Chess

“These young guys are playing checkers. I’m out there playing chess.” –Kobe Bryant

  1. Chess is a great way to engage others in a social and educational way, yet in a non-threatening way when the battle begins.
  2. Chess requires a strong work ethic to improve, but is actually a simple game to learn and begin playing.
  3. Forcing the the mind to focus is one of the greatest benefits to playing chess. Chess allows those who play this game to analyze and better understand their decision-making. Each game takes on a life of its own because there are so many possibilities.
  4. Although planning ahead is important, chess allows each player to live in the moment to realize the situation at hand. Many players consider this a therapeutic aspect to the game because the mind is not able to do this in everyday life.
  5. Playing chess provides a creative outlet for solving problems, and promotes inter-generational play unique to chess.

Bonus:

  1. The more a player understands this game, the more entertaining it becomes. Yes, it’s fun to self-reflect.
  2. Health reasons for playing chess are numerous; notably the delay of brain disease such as Alzheimer’s as well as rehabilitation due to brain injury.

Introduction to Chess Pieces


To learn how to play chess you must first know how each piece moves.  Click here to download the basic rules of chess and visit our website for more advance rules.


Pawn: 

The first time you move a pawn you may move one square or two squares forward. After you have moved a pawn it may only move one square forward. 

Rook:

The Rook may move side to side, forward or backward all the way across the chess board. 

Bishop:

The Bishops may only move diagonally across the chess board. You begin the game with a light square bishop and a dark square bishop. 

Knight:

The Knight is the only piece that can jump over pieces. This piece moves one square up or down and two squares over, or two squares over and one square up or down in any direction. 

Queen:

The Queen may move in any direction; side to side, forward, backward, or diagonally across the chess board. 

King:

The King may move one square in any direction; side to side, forward, backward or diagonally. The King may never move to a square next to the opponent’s King. 

Products for Social Distancing/Summer Fun

Summertime is here, and some are still practicing social distancing.  Looking for some new games or activities that are fun for your kids, but packed full of educational benefits?  Look no further than Chess Made Fun for some of the top games for kids and families!

Camelot Jr


Top Summer Fun Games:

  1. Chess 4+ years – Chess is the perfect activity for family fun this summer.  While school is out keep your child’s brain working all while playing a game.  All you need is a decent chess set, and if you don’t know how to play download the basic rules here.  Check out our YouTube channel for mini-games to get you started. 
  2. Bunny Boo 2-4 years – Not only will this game teach primary colors to your toddler, but your child will learn directions while working on motor skills.
  3. Camelot Jr 4-6 years – Chess-themed, and a fun, unique twist on puzzle games that will help develop logic and spatial reasoning.
  4. Laser Maze 6-8 years – Strategically place satellites throughout the maze game to guide the laser’s path, but watch out for space rocks that might get in the way.
  5. Walls & Warriors 8-10 years – Brain power is needed to protect your castle in this exciting game with 80 increasingly difficult challenges.
  6. Cube Puzzler PRO 10-12 years – Playing Cube Puzzler PRO stimulates the following cognitive abilities: planning, problem solving and spatial insight. 
  7. Solitaire Chess 12+ years – Solitaire Chess combines the rules of traditional chess and peg solitaire to bring you a delightful and vigorous brain workout.

What’s your favorite summer activity or game?

How to Sign Up for a Free Chess.com Account

Chess.com is a loved website and mobile app for the chess community. Some of the benefits include:

  • Free account or Paid Subscription Plan
  • Online learning through lessons, puzzles and puzzle rush
  • Chat and message other players
  • Setup a club for your local club members
  • Allows you to play timed games, or gives up to 14 days to make a move
  • Setup or play in a tournament

How do you signup for a chess.com account? It is super easy.

  1. Go to chess.com
  2. Type in a username (If you don’t know what you want your username to be, type in a word and chess.com will provide you with ideas for one)
  3. Type in your email
  4. Type in a password at least 6 characters long
  5. Select your skill level
  6. Once you have filled in the fields you will select “Create your FREE Account”

It is that easy to create a chess.com profile, and start playing chess with your friend or an opponent from around the world.

If you prefer you can skip the above steps, and choose to create an account with your Facebook or Google account. You would just select the option you want, and follow the prompts to login to your account.

Now that you have created your chess.com account be sure to join Chess Made Fun on Saturday’s from 3-5p EST to play chess with our national online chess club. We look forward to seeing you over the board.

How to Become a Better Chess Player

With all the resources available on chess where do you get started to becoming a better chess player? You are in luck! Chess Made Fun would like to share with you the top 3 things you can do to become a better chess player.

#3 – Hire a Chess Coach

If you are looking to improve your game, and learn quickly, hire a chess coach.  A chess coach can help you understand openings, work on middle game tactics as well as help you with your endgames. A chess coach will not only help you play better, but they will also help you analyze games played to make better decisions. 

#2 – Invest in Chess Books

Chess is the oldest, most researched and well documented game in history.  There are books written on just about anything you can think of chess-related.  If you do not know where to start as a beginner let Chess Made Fun help you.  We have carefully selected the best books to help you get started on your chess journey.  We highly recommend Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess to start you off correctly.  This book has a wealth of information that even a novice can comprehend. 

#1 – Play More Chess

That’s right! The most important thing you can do to improve your game immediately is to play more chess. Even if it is only 15 minutes per day, or a couple of hours per week, you must play more chess to improve your game. 

Looking to play more chess in the USA join our online chess club. We currently meet on chess.com each week on Saturdays from 3p-5p EST.

What are your tips for becoming a better chess player?

How To Become A Better Chess Player

There are countless learning resources for those beginning players interested in improving their chess game. Sometimes the most difficult thing to do is to get started. The solutions mentioned here simple to understand, so the viewer may take that first step with confidence. This video is a first in a series about learning chess fundamentals. Yes – chess is a time commitment to improve.

6 Reasons to Teach Your Child to Play Chess. . .

There are countless benefits to teaching your child the game of chess.  The excitement alone on their faces as they learn will be rewarding.  If that’s not enough, Chess Made Fun has selected the top 6 reasons for you.

#6 – Great History

Chess is the oldest board game still in existence going back almost 1,500 years.  The game has been handed down through the generations. 

#5 – Simple Rules

Although chess is thought of as a complex game it is very easy to learn and begin playing. 

#4 – Building Relationships

Chess bridges the gap between different age groups where conversation can flourish.

#3 – Low cost fun

With proper piece storage a chess set is all you need for a lifetime of play.

#2 – Technology-Off Approach

Playing chess over the board offers hours of fun while being plugged into the game versus a device. 

#1 – Improves Math and English Scores

Chess teaches patience, problem solving, planning ahead, and most importantly, good sportsmanship.

If you are ready to introduce your child to chess check out this article, When is a good time to teach my child chess, for tips on teaching chess to children 0-10 years of age. Through this unique time of social distancing plan for some technology-off, hands-on chess fun.

If you do not own a chess set yet we recommend a tournament travel chess set with bag. This chess set is the perfect size for young players. The board and pieces make visualizing the board a breeze.

Let us know your favorite reason why chess should be taught to children.

6 Reasons To Teach Your Child Chess

Although brain researchers have many things to say about the benefits of chess, this video takes an uncomplicated stance by showing the viewer more practical reasons for learning chess. Chess has out-survived virtually every board game ever known. The mysterious nature of chess will be revealed to those who venture to learn its secrets, and valued for all time.

5 Things You Need to Start an Online Chess Club

Thinking of starting and online chess club for your community? Chess Made Fun recommends the top 5 things you need:

  1. Chess Players – I know it sounds simple, but you have to find chess players who are willing to play online. If your county or school already has a chess club find players there first.
  2. Location – Determine what website you want to play chess on as a group. We recommend chess.com. You may add members to your club, or send a link for them to join. Once in the online club you may see which members are online, and ready for a game, or currently playing.
  3. Calendar with notifications – In today’s world it is easy to forget when your chess club’s next event is. We recommend creating a Facebook group for your members. You may set events that will send a reminder to your players. Members may also post puzzles, or share fun chess information.
  4. Computer – We recommend playing online chess as a group on a computer. You can play from the web browser on your phone, but it’s kind of clunky. Chess.com does have an mobile app, but it doesn’t allow you to access the club from the app currently.
  5. Coaches – Find and recruit chess coaches in your area to join the club. They may offer a good game of chess for your top players, or might be willing to teach an online chess lesson for your new players.

Once you have members consider raffling off a chess board or t-shirt to raise excitement for your events.

chess-club-shirts


Don’t get discouraged if there is a low turnout at first, and remember to be consistent and show up to play!


What has helped your chess club grow in your area?

EP 6 About Chess – Did You Know?

Chess Made Fun is introducing a new video series with episodes coming to you each week. The series is called Did You Know in Chess…

Each episode covers relevant facts that are helpful to beginning chess players. These topics are easy for the viewer to digest and use for regular play. We hope you find each episode informative! We will create a separate playlist, so that viewers may watch all episodes in one sitting if they wish. Sit back and relax, and…let’s talk about chess!