My wife’s a chess coach. I told her the other day that I have some free time to help her out. We ended up in a huge game of team chess at one of her schools. This was my first interaction with more experienced kids in her after school programs. This was also the first time I’ve played chess outside on a large patio chess board. It was a lot of fun.
One of the coolest things about the experience was that the squares on the board were not notated. Every time the black team or white tea
m had to make a move they had to call each move out in correct notation. The time it took for twenty excited kids to shout “King captures E4” actually had a calming effect on them. This process made the game one of great precision and quality because it gave them time to think about their next move.
Communication skills developed from playing team chess outdoors are unmatched. The solace of a video game said one of our kids is a great escape however as the pressure builds. Even with wonderful weather it’s great to rotate the kids indoors when the game “gets interesting” to keep the competitive spirit intact. Team leaders always make themselves known. It’s good to assign someone else to call the next move. This has been my experience so far.
I’ve helped Yvonne on Friday afternoons with some of the younger kids in her developmental classes. I have a little more experience than Yvonne playing kids in tournaments though. This doesn’t mean I’ve had better results beating them. She played in her first tournament last Friday. I told her I would support her from the sidelines this time. A pitcher of margaritas before a tournament is not the kind of fun I need. It’s not what this blog is about.
Back to the other kids at school. School is out for two weeks. I wrote down all twenty-eight moves have been played so far. We’ll finish the game on a demonstration board when the kids return from their break. We can figure out what the losing team can do to have the advantage in the next outdoor game.
I’ll also follow-up with the results here in my next blog entry.