ACES: Weeks 2 and 3

Carnegie 1
A picture we took from the outside of Andrew Carnegie Elementary School

Week 2: My friend and I both went to the same room today and went over the fundamentals of the chess with the kids, including how the pieces move, each piece’s value, and chess principles. One thing that we really stressed and will continue to do is the need to understand what a move achieves. Understanding the rationale behind a move (as opposed to solely memorizing moves) can help the kids form a better understanding and intuition for the game. Along these lines, we ended by introducing a good first move for white (e4) and by talking about what the move achieves (center control, easier development for white’s light squared bishop and queen, etc.).

Week 3: Today, five members from Invest in Chess came to Carnegie to help teach the kids chess. The five of us were allocated to four classes (containing a total of close to 100 children) so we could teach the most number of kids. I remained in the classroom that I had been in the past weeks. I started by reminding the children of the importance of chess and by attempting to inspire them that they can achieve anything they want to in life, and that chess can help them stay focused and achieve their goals. I then went on to solidify the fundamentals that had been taught in the previous class and fielded numerous questions from the children to clarify their concerns. Finally, while making sure to go over the purpose of each of the moves, I taught the children their first opening—the Ruy Lopez. This will help them play the beginning of their chess games better. Throughout the class, whenever an inaccurate move was suggested, I made sure to address why the move was flawed and what some better moves were. The other members in the other classes taught the fundamentals of the game to ensure that all the children had a solid foundation before moving forward.

Check out this picture of us from Week 3:

Group Picture at Carnegie - Invest in Chess