Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Pawn Game

Chess can be fun! This is the way to continue to spread our beloved game all over the world! Imagine that you are not able to play the game of chess at all. You don't know a single move or piece. Let us start from this point!

Take all the pieces off of the board except the pawns. The pawns are to be placed on the second rank of each side of the chess board, and the board should be placed with a light square in the right hand corner. This is the standard setup. White moves first. The first move white will play is the pawn 5th from the left side of the board. You will move this pawn two spaces straight foward. Pawns can move two spaces on their first move. but can then only move one space at a time for the rest of the game. Please notice that I used the words 'straight forward.' Pawns can only move straight unless they are taking another piece. (I'll explain "taking" later). Black will move his/her pawn two spaces foward also. The pawn black will move first is the pawn directly in front of the pawn white previously moved. What you now have is two pawns meeting on the middle of the board face to face. It's called "meeting" when the pawns meet and neither can advance.

Now, it is white's turn to move again and just to teach you (this is not a good move) let's move the 6th pawn straight foward two spaces. Now we have a position when two white pawns stand in front of a single black pawn. Two of these pawns are meeting but this new pawn is now being touched by black's pawn. When the pawns "touch" you can take the pawn it is touching. This means that the person who has black can move forward at an angle and take the white pawn that has just moved. To take, you take the white pawn off the board and replace it with the black pawn that was touching the pawn you just removed. This is how the pawn game is played. The object of the game is to get one of your pawns to the other end of the board. Hints to win: When the pawns are touching, take. Ask yourself the magic question (can I take that pawn she/he just moved?).

Here's a riddle for you: When should you not take a pawn that is touching another pawn? When you can answer this, you'll be ready to advance.

Monday, August 17, 2009

We, as teachers of the game, have failed to gain the interest of the average person. And because of this, many potential chess players never go past the first lesson because the game is often explained the old fashioned way, the way most of us learned -- putting all the pieces on the board and going for check mate! This is only fun for a certain type of person (we can name them -- chess players, smile)! However, I have reinvented the wheel. I have made learning the game of chess fun again! Forget the sterotypes about chess because they are not true. Stereotypes like the game is boring, hard to learn and for nerds (I am sure you have all heard these things, but you might want to check with Will Smith and P. Diddy because they are avid chess fans and I really don't think they can be categorized as nerds.)

Some people feel that learning chess the old way is correct. But my new method has changed all that. Children of all ages have a good time, learn the game, and they even compare it to their favorite video games. Why am I doing this? Because chess is my passion and this is my contribution to the game itself. When I moved to Alabama ten years ago, there were hardly any chess players. My game suffered, and my interest waned. But I've been teaching chess for eight years now, and I'm steadily building a chess playing community here in Alabama with this new method. Birmingham will be a chess mecca! Stay tuned for more.

Chess On!!

Chess 101

Today, chess as a game is up against many video games and activities that our children are involved in, making it hard for chess to compete. However, my new method of teaching the game makes it both fun and exciting for children of all ages. Stay tuned for more on the new way to learn chess.

Chess On!

Charles A. Smith