Chess Parents: Is Your Child A Chess Prodigy?
*** Course Updated Friday, February 24, 2017 ***
Ah, the game of chess.
It has been around for centuries and many have tried to master opening; middle game strategies and win championship titles.
However, while chess is still a game, it can be much more than that for your child.
Chess has great educational benefits. It can help your child with math; dimensions; strategy and problem-solving. Many times, children who play chess also do well in the classroom.
In this course, we’ll examine:
- The Benefits of Playing Chess.
- How to Introduce Chess to Your Child.
- Participating in Local Chess Clubs and Chess Tournaments.
- Playing in Scholastic Tournaments.
- Playing Chess with Grandparents and Older Adults.
- Chess as a Young Adult and Beyond.
- Chess Scholarship Opportunities…and much more.
Chess is a fun game, but the rewards of playing chess are great for parents and for children!
Is Your Child A Chess Prodigy?
A course and section introduction to "Is Your Child A Chess Prodigy?"
We'll cover and discuss the following topics:
- What is a chess prodigy?
- Introducing your child to chess.
- The benefits of playing chess for your child.
- Scholastic chess.
- Girls who build confidence by playing chess.
- Chess etiquette for children and parents.
- Getting ready to play in chess tournaments.
- Chess Scholarships.
...and much more.
There is an incredible amount of value; education; strategy and other growth opportunities available by playing chess.
Your child might be the next chess prodigy, but there are many stages of chess introduction; chess etiquette; training and lessons; tournaments and more.Parents, you’re along for the ride.
Introduce your child to chess and let them experience a great game.
Here, just as you open the chess set for the first time, these is no pressure and no expectations. Let them have fun! They don't need to know every rule or understand everything about chess when they start to play. The more they play, you can start to introduce other elements about the game to them.
I talk to a lot of chess parents at various chess tournaments. Some say when they introduced the game, the child immediately picked up on how the pieces move and wanted to learn more about how to win, while others didn’t seem that interested but later came back to the game when they learned their friends played chess or they wanted to be part of a chess club in school.
With me, early on, I wanted to play better and beat my Dad. That was the No. 1 goal. By fourth grade, I was playing against my uncle (who would always beat me) and I played in my first chess tournament in Shelbyville, Indiana (I finished in 7th place). Winning a trophy had me hooked.
Other than enjoying a free game of chess now and then, there are many benefits to playing chess (even if you’re not a child prodigy).
Inc. Magazine, in an article titled “Do you want your child to be a Billionaire?” says that playing chess helps your child become a strategist and that the game builds creativity.
Many school-ages chess players make top grades and most seem to excel at math (i.e., problem solving).
Many of these players – from kindergarten through 12th grade, will likely excel at STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). This is also known as STEM Education.
Organized scholastic chess helps improve concentration; develops logical and critical thinking and promotes problem solving.
As a child starts and continues to play chess, their critical thinking skills and abilities improve. Many chess students are quite the professionals when it comes to fixing computers and creating their own apps for tables and smartphones.
The Middle Game: Getting Started With Chess
Children will learn at their own pace, but many times a child is determined to get better at their chess game; study more; play more and, possibility, ask you (the parent) if they can hire a chess coach.
After a child participates in a tournament, they will learn more when they lose and they will want to improve their game even more. If your child wins at his/her next tournament, they will become even more motivated as they move up in ratings and player tougher opponents.
When children experience success in chess – winning a trophy; getting prize money or even betting a higher-ranked opponent – it increases their confidence and continues to fuel the drive and determination in getting better.
Girls shouldn't be discouraged or intimidated when it comes to playing chess, even though the sport is primarily male dominated.
In fact, many girls - college, high school and even younger! - are some of the fiercest and toughest competitors when it comes to playing in chess tournaments.
Girls are not bad chess players. They need to be encouraged and sometimes this can be easier when your daughter has another female chess companion and/or a female coach.
Chess requires concentration and well, sometimes, children need to be reminded the difference between playing chess at a tournament and doing cart wheels at Chuck E. Cheese.
Most players take chess very serious and there is a level of respect the game demands from every player no matter the age.When in doubt, chess etiquette is the same as simple manners. Think of the rules that need to be followed in a strict, quiet library.
At times, unfortunately, it’s the parents who also need to be reminded of chess etiquette when it comes to chess and having your children participate in chess tournaments.
Many times, I have seen parents argue with tournament directors; argue with other parents and use a variety of intimidation factors directed at their child’s opponent.
Fortunately, in many scholastic tournaments, parents are forbidden from being in the playing hall. This helps the child concentrate better on his/her game and doesn’t have Mom or Dad acting like a chess helicopter on top of their chess boards.
However, in mixed children/adult tournaments, parents need to give their child some space when it comes time to start the clock and play the match.
At some point – no matter the age - everyone will begin to have thoughts about hiring a chess coach.
Books, online play, DVDs, etc., might be just enough for some players, but others will find they are more successful with having one-on-one, face-to-face instruction with a chess coach.
Unlike videos and books, players can ask chess coaches questions and coaches can peer into the mind of a young player for more insight on where their game needs improvement.
If a child is prepared when they approach the chess board, they’ll eventually be able to handle defeats just as well as they accept victories.
Still, a parent will need to console their child and help them get ready for the next match. Start preparing your “it’s not the end of the world” and “Win one for the Gipper” confidence builder speeches now.
I’ve seen many parents help their child through a loss. They quickly take them out of an embarrassing situation and talk to them outside of the playing hall – away from the spectators and other parents. Head back to your motel room or go have a little chat in the car.
Opportunities in Chess
As your child gets older and better at chess, there are some possibilities for chess scholarships.
This can include tournament entry fees; chess camps and even chess scholarships at colleges and universities.
As your child gets older; meets new friends and gains exposure to other activities and interest, their desire to continue to play chess is going to meet a fork in the road.
Some will stay on the chess path; play in more tournaments and continue to get better and better.
Others, like myself, may put chess on the back burner for a short time and come back to it later in life.
Can your child, one day, turn into a professional chess player and, maybe have a career in chess?
While it’s too hard to tell at a young age, there are many career opportunities available in chess, including – but not limited to - becoming a chess master and winning prize money at national and worldwide tournaments.
However, there are other ways to earn a living at chess besides playing in tournaments every weekend. In this lecture, we'll discuss other ways in which chess might turn into a career for your child.
Your chess-playing child can actually help your parents and other older adults maintain a sharp brain in their later years.
By having them play chess with them.
Chess keeps the brain sharp. As older adults (and I’m starting to be included in that category), retire and have up to eight hours (or more) extra time during the day, they need to do more than plant flowers and watch old western movies on television.
Playing Chess Strategies
While your son or daughter might enjoy playing chess with you, there will come a time in which they want to play with other children; other players and face other competition.
In this lecture, we'll take a look at many local, face-to-face chess-playing opportunities available in your area for you and your child.
Playing chess at a school club or at the library can provide some good competition and fun for your child. However, at some point, they’ll be ready and interested in taking it up a level and participating in a real chess tournament.
Therefore, consider this lecture your official guide to your child playing in local, regional and national chess tournaments.
So, which is better? Playing chess in person, face-to-face with your opponent sitting across the board? Or, on a computer where you can concentrate more on the moves and chess position in the comfort of your own home?
Like anything else, there are advantages and disadvantages to both.
Here, in this lecture, we'll examine playing over-the-board and playing online chess. Which is better?
Checkmate! Participating in Chess Tournaments
Chess tournaments should be fun, but they are usually very challenging.
In a previous lecture, we talked about finding chess tournaments, but in this lecture, we’ll get into more details about tournament play.
OK, get your chess pieces set up and let’s play the first round!
Children approach chess tournaments much differently than adults.
Adults tend to take it very seriously, especially if they entered the tournament for prize money or as a “warm-up” for a bigger, upcoming tournament.
I’ve never seen a child come to a tournament in a bad mood. They are eager and ready to take on the world.
However, there are many things a child can do (with parental help) in order to prepare and approach an upcoming tournament. Some good tips here in this lecture!
While your child prepares for an upcoming tournament, parents also need to prepare for an upcoming tournament as well as there’s more to getting ready for a tournament than just driving your child to the tournament site.
In this lecture, we'll offer some suggestions for parents in preparing for a chess tournament.
For some, mainly adults, these is a “seedy” side to the world of chess tournaments that you, as a parent, should be aware of when it comes to your child playing in tournaments.
This is not to alarm you. There’s no harm coming to your child and you’re not in danger.
Here, we'll offer some cautious tips to help protect your child and your child's identity when it comes to participating in chess tournaments.
Beyond The Chess Board
Your child might want to take a break from chess tournaments. Maybe they only want to play casual chess. Perhaps, they want to put the chess set away for a little while because their seeing other types of successes on the summer swimming team or they were voted captain of the basketball team or a dance recital is coming up, etc.
I see many children chess players, who excel in other sports and activities AND still play chess at a high level. A brother-sister duo (that I sometimes fear at the chess board), are excellent piano players and compete in piano competitions. Another young boy is a very good swimming and wins lots of 100- and 200-meter freestyle events in competition year round.
Is your child a chess prodigy?
Well, it’s probably too early to really tell, but every parent should give their child some exposure to chess and see if there’s any interest in playing the game and, who knows? Your son might be the next Magnus Carlson or your daughter could one day be the next Susan Polgar.
Chess is a fun, strategic and challenging game.
Not everyone likes the game, but not everyone likes gymnastics either.
A quiz to review our course "Chess Parents: Is Your Child A Chess Prodigy?"
I wanted to update you on my experiences during a recent chess tournament. No, we won't be discussing my game (that's for another video, if anyone's interested in chess blunders). Instead, I witnessed some good and some bad things when it came to children, parents and playing in a chess tournament that featured nearly 300 players during a 3-day event.
Getting ready for a tournament after a long lay off.