Time With Your Child

When we recommend games for your family we’re not recommending more toys to clutter your child’s closest or playroom.

We encourage you to have special activities or games your child gets to play with just you or the whole family. It is this time they cherish the most because they get to do it with you.

Most of our IQ games are solo but if you sit down, help and watch your child play you will be amazed at what you learn. What problems they run into, how they analyze outcomes, and the resolutions they are able to find?

Some times playing games gets competitive but if we slow down we learn so much more!

Even if you can only block of 15 minutes every other day the learning benefits will help them for years to come. Make sure to put away all devices so there are no unnecessary distractions!

Toddler Chess

If your 2-5 year old isn’t interested in playing chess with you, put the chess board away! We recommend instead teaching about castles, queens, kings, knights etc., we have added some Melissa and Doug items that work for us! Some of these can be found at your local toy stores.

You can also let them dress up as there favorite chess piece (we will be adding costumes next year) or get them a cool chess t-shirt or onesie to add excitement!

If they are interested in Chess it is still good to add some fun into their lesson time. You can purchase “Chess is Child’s Play” to learn mini games to play with children as young as two!

Hope everyone is enjoying the start to the holiday season! Cheers!

“Teaching Chess Step by Step”

One reason I love “Teaching Chess Step by Step” is the activities and exercises starts with the pawns game.  Warren and I use this teaching method for players that are just learning chess for the first time.

Starting with all 32 pieces that have different movements can be overwhelming.  Starting with just the pawns teaches players how pawns move, capture and their special power of promotion.

Once our players understand pawn movements we then start to introduce the other pieces until the player understands how each piece moves.

The other courses in “Teaching Chess Step by Step” are easy to understand.  Any school athletics coach or senior center activities director can use this set to teach players of all ages the fun and rules of chess! Book 2 has plenty of pages you can copy and hand out to the class or group.

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The Kasparov Chess Foundation
Three-volume Series

by Igor Khmelnitsky, Michael Khodarkovsky
and Michael Zadorozny

The most thorough and complete curriculum for teaching chess!

Family game night getting boring?

Spice it up a little with a recent game “Pie Face”. Should be called Pie in your face.

When my nieces first asked me to play I was hesitant! After a few rounds all the adults and children were sitting around the table counting clicks just waiting in anticipation to see who would be the next one with a face full of cream!

I definitely recommend cheap cream and having a lot of towels handy! Sometimes kids just want to laugh instead of playing thinking games! As a family we could all use more reasons to laugh together!

Available for purchase on our website!

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The White’s have a baby!

Having a baby we have so enjoyed watching her achieve new milestones! Some of the toys she chooses to play with surprises me.

Before becoming a mom I would always try to find gifts that excited my nieces and nephews, but now getting to see what my daughter chooses to play with at 11 months old blows my mind.

She prefers plastic colorful objects or wooden! Colorful strings and tags are the first thing she notices. I thought the toys with sound would attract her more but no!

We have known we were going to introduce her to chess around 2 but she started noticing us playing chess around 10 months. She wants the pieces, she likes to take them on and off the board! She loves most to taste them! 🙂

Maybe we will have a third chess enthusiast in our family!

Online Chess vs. In Real Time

Hey chess lovers!

I haven’t written in a while, but don’t doubt I’ve still been playing chess… and Searching for Bobby Fisher! I play In Real Time with my friends whenever I get the chance, but lately I’ve been playin’ a lil’ chess online. What are the pro’s and con’s of web play vs. playing real people? I’m glad you asked.

The pro’s of playing with real homosapiens vs.computer bots are many. First, humans are the most complex, imaginative, strategic, mammals on earth, so, any time you play a human it’s like hunting the hunter..( Refer to The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell) .. you can not foresee another humans neuron synapses, and thus, can not determine their next move. Secondly, you can intimidate your face to face players with many facial and bodily expression. Sorry, friends, we play to win. We are hard core chess players! Third, online, a lot of people quit playing the game once you start gaining a little territory…human opponents usually finish the whole game…even if they are losing, in order to be a respectful player. We play to win, but we respect the game more than the win.

The pro’s of playing online, to me, are as follows: I can play anytime, anywhere. Even if my opponents quit before the game is over, I am ever widening my skills. I can play with my friends across the country or across the world.

End of Analysis : Playing with friends is always better than playing No name in Timbuctoo, but playing at all, is better than never playing.

Rock on chess family!

To “Chess” or not to “Chess”?

I’ll never forget that day…”Play chess with me?” my friend asked. I immediately froze. Chess??? Me??? I started making a list in my mind of all the reasons I couldn’t play.

“Chess is for intelligent people…Mensa awardees and old men that have studied stocks and statistics for years. It takes a long time to play one game, and individuals take 20 minutes to make a move. These are not great combinations for someone like me…I’m loud, I lack strategically planned attacking skills, I talk fast at times, and my thoughts outrun my mouth. Why on earth would someone ask me to play chess? Do I come across as a calm person? They must have lost their minds. Oh well, I love obliging insanity.

Guess WHAT? Yes, she proved me wrong. Chess is my new favorite game. Although, I’m still much better at Charades, Pictionary, or Taboo, Chess is challenging me and stretching my mental and physical faculties as well as providing a quick reprieve from the hustle and bustle of life. In less than 3 months, I can see my brain changing. Call me crazy! I know all the names of the pieces now. (You can laugh here, feel free!) I know how each one moves, who is the strongest, weakest, and how to protect my king, and much more. All this from playing no more than 1 to 2 hours a week, starting out with NO prior knowledge. Sometimes, we play 10 minute “blitzes”…we’d have those old men in the movies toupees flying off as fast as we play!

My point is…Chess is Fun! We make it fun for all ages. The things I’ve learned I can now teach to 6 and 7 year olds…imagine the chess masters we will have in 10 years! Chess will only enhance their minds to go above and beyond in all they do.

“Wanna play chess with me?”

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Marietta and Kennesaw Chess Family Fun

Our first Chess Square One, designed for absolute beginners, children and their (grand)parents.

“I think our society would benefit in many ways if parents spent the time to teach their children chess. The bonding experience alone is amazing and the skills kids get from the game will help them in life. Plus their immediate schooling would be enhanced,” Laura Sherman, Tampa, FL, author of Chess is Child’s Play.

Chess Square One idea is this, it provides (grand)parents – even those who are not familiar with chess yet – with a simple and effective method (I developed for Kennesaw State University) for teaching their kids, plus free counseling and mentoring down the road!

This is a great way everybody spends some quality time together, family bonding and having fun. Think Family Game Night! Leave your digital devices alone for a short while and have some real good time together.

Tell your family and friends about this great (and free) opportunity to learn the basics of chess, the best game ever invented.

To promote chess and make it accessible to more people, we will be rotating places and times, covering north and northwest of metro Atlanta: Marietta, Kennesaw, Smyrna, Vinnings, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Roswell, Alpharetta (let me know if you may have in mind a specific place and time for organizing Chess Square One in your neighborhood!).

Good chess to you all!

coach Momir

www.iplayoochess.com

Mentoring Madness

We want to let you know about a new group we organize in Atlanta called the Laboratory for Intergenerational Learning.  These are questions members wish to ask of one another:

  1. What style of learning would be most effective for your child, student, resident, patient or loved one?
  2. What physical, visual, motor or cognitive impairments are important to manage?
  3. Would a therapeutic recreational activity enhance your care setting or lifestyle in some way?
  4. What kinds of specialized training in cognition or memory care might interest you?
  5. Are you curious about intergenerational learning opportunities?

These are the top categories we are targeting for membership:

Alzheimer’s Disease · Parenting & Family · Mental Health Counselors · Social Gaming · Early Diagnosis Dementia · Caregivers to Seniors · Family Outdoor Recreation · Sandwich Generation · Adults Taking Care of Aging Parents · Young Onset Alzheimer’s Disease · Occupational Therapy · Holistic Health · Cognitive Behavior Therapy – CBT · Improving Memory · Autism and Asperger’s

As a sidenote, our Facebook community group, Intergenerational Learning, is worldwide, so we welcome you, your staff and volunteers to share ideas with us about social mentoring and group learning. We sincerely hope to continue building relationships together outside our region and look forward to future conversations.

The organizers are very new to the aging services community, but truly feel the wonderful game of chess can and will benefit families and groups.  The game of chess is being unearthed in a new and balanced way to improve social interactions. Chess is being adapted to exploit metacognition (learning to learn) and situational analysis.  As a result, family relationships may be strengthened and channels to personal growth developed. “Chess Therapy” as its been called builds on strong breakthrough energies as the power of the game becomes a gateway to understanding the natural world.

If you have a taste for intrigue, or learning about chess for the very first time (we hope you are), we encourage you to explore the game of chess through a Canadian television series released in 2011 called Endgame. Shown in the series as a set of “life lessons”, we hope you enjoy Endgame as much as we have.  The game’s enduring principles have been handed down through tireless generations in search for what lies beneath the surface in so many aspects of our lives.  This is a social mentoring program for creating intergenerational bonds that we feel are so important with an increasingly aging society that will soon be lost.

Through life’s journey we may reflect on and refine our decisions.  Life is a game, but not one of chance.  It is a struggle for balance, simplicity, interdependence and goodwill. The process of learning the game of chess even still is experimental and is really a laboratory for learning the game of life.  The endgame has no end in sight.  Chess offers a lifetime of opportunity to learn, enjoy and teach this truly remarkable game.

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The game of chess is being unearthed in a new and balanced way to improve social interactions.
Chess painting by Elke Rehder

A laboratory for learning awaits us here.

New Frontiers

I’ve been offered a lot of encouragement from the staff at a nursing center and family members to continue to grow our community outreach.  The center offers physical therapy and cares for patients who require a brief stay to recover from surgery.  The center also offers long-term care for those experiencing memory, mobility or other physical challenges.  Dedication and patience has been a key ingredient in working with these folks.  We’ve taken a step back since publishing New Tricks in Their Final Stages last year discussing hospice care and have set some time aside to talk about some of the latest happenings with Chess Made Fun.

Family involvement is the cornerstone of what we bring to our community.  Working with residents’ families has been an inspiration without the need for setting mental goals and instead letting the process of learning chess unfold on its own.  Participation has increased during the last several weeks and is more consistent that ever.  Although we are “ginnie pigging” our experimentation with aging communities the time has been well spent and feel we are breaking some new ground here.  Our activity director at the center has even gone so far as to say that she would like to see “bingo night” slowly phased out and replaced with games like chess that are more mentally stimulating than games of chance.  She is discussing this idea with members of the National Council of Certified Activity Professionals (NCCAP) during their annual convention held in Virginia Beach, VA this year.

Although games like bingo are games of chance, Chess Made Fun stands by its purpose in making any activity fun and familiar and makes prizes or even tournament play an important aspect to keep interest in the games as high as we can.  Mini-games like the Pawns Game allow everyone to win almost everyday!  Inter-generational play is also made possible through the involvement of local chess clubs throughout Georgia.  It so happens that one of our residents is a computer specialist and tutors special needs kids.  One of his students is an aspiring chess player and wants to join in the fun working with the elderly at the nursing center.

We will continue to track participation and progress with our chess program and may even publish some relevant metrics should we decide to pursue further research in the area of recreation therapy.

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Let’s talk paws …

Warren and I decided to adopt a dog after moving into our apartment community in Alpharetta, GA.  As dog lovers we knew adoption was the right option for us.  Like many things, we were thorough in our search visiting multiple shelters throughout the metro Atlanta.

The task of timing our search with Warren’s birthday a few years ago allowed plenty of time to research the proper dog training techniques and resources I thought might be best for our small two-bedroom apartment we occupied back then.

With only 30 minutes to closing at the Cobb County Humane Society — even after looking for two weeks — nothing could have prepared us for Kelly.  As soon as Kelly looked into my eyes, I immediately called Warren over. When he stepped around the corner he looked at her and said, “what do we need to do to adopt her?”.

With house training on the list of details — we didn’t even hesitate.  I love it when Warren and I make these decisions together.  It makes me feel proud.

Kelly has been an amazing pet and friend.  She is always greeting us at the door and waiting for us to put on our shoes. When we grab the leash she gets so excited she can barely stand it. She loves to curl up next to us when we are playing chess or relaxing.

Our dog Kelly has offered us unconditional love and in return she has it pretty easy 🙂

Chess Coach Needed in Atlanta

I know a reputable chess instructor who would like to add at least one new chess coach to work four afternoons per week to assist with chess in after-school programs.  Program times differ for each school, but only require being onsite each day for 1 1/2 hours.

The pay is weekly and private chess lessons will be offered to the person selected. Coaching candidates must be able to pass a school required background check and have experience working with groups of children.  Strong communication skills are a must.  These coaches must also be reliable.  Chess afternoon programs are set by each school and typically are 20 weeks per year.

The chess instructor also has summer camps that offer extra hours a few weeks in June and July.  If you are interested send me a brief description of your experience to ChessMadeFun@gmail.com

Please also pass along a resume and availability Monday – Friday.  I will pass your information on to the chess instructor hiring for this position.

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