ACES: Weeks 6 and 7

Week 6: First, we gave a small lesson on the intuitive “stepladder checkmate,” wherein a lone king is checkmated by pieces such as queen and rooks that progressively cut the king off from ranks or files until the king is checkmated. We spent the rest of the time by splitting ourselves amongst the children as we let them play games against one another. We game the children ample time to think about the moves they were playing and made sure to provide instruction where necessary.

Week 7: We spent the entire time going over many key tactical patterns such as forks, pins, and skewers. To teach the concept, we first set up a position on the large demonstration in the front of the room and asked the children to set up the same position on their board. We then gave them time to find the fork or skewer, and we demonstrated these concepts with multiple pieces (seeing as that knights, bishops, and pawns, for example, can fork). Throughout the session, all of us were split up between the children so we could individually focus on them and address any questions they had.