Monday, November 16, 2009

Adding the King and Queen

Now that you have developed a feel for the pawn game, it's time to add the King and Queen. Set up the rest of the pieces as I've described their proper setup before.

The "Queen always gets her color" is one way I convey to my students where to place the Queen. What this means is if the Queen is white, she stands on a light square. If the Queen is black, she stands on a dark square when the pieces are set up. That leaves a lone square for the King, and this means he will always start the game on a square that is opposite color of his hue. This is the starting position for the beginning of the end of The Pawn Game. We no longer play to get a pawn to the other side of the board anymore; now we play a game I call Take The King.

In Take The King, you must take or kill the other person's king to win the game. The movement of the King is simple: he can move one square at a time in any direction on a empty board. However, in his current position, he can't move at all because he is surrounded by other pieces. His movements are slow and plodding, and must be kept safe and away from the enemy or the game could be lot! The King is the deciding factor in the game at this point, so he is the most important piece on the board. Therefore, we say his value is the whole game itself.

The Queen is the strongest piece on the chess board, is usually the most aggressive piece on the board and is the most effective if used properly. Her value is nine points. I like to describe her movement to new students as such: She moves like a Rook and a Bishop combined. In other words, she has the power of both the Rook and Bishop. She can move across an empty board from one end to the other in one movement just like a Rook or Bishop!

So go at it now kiddies of all ages. Take The King!! Remember, the first move is still the same for both sides. Chess On !!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The SuperNationals

To be good at this game one must put in the time. Many hours must be given to study and practice. Or you can just be good without a lot of study! Stay alert -- my book is coming and in it I explain how I turn young people into chess champions. In the 2009 Super Nationals Chess Tournament, three of my players placed in the top twenty in the country One of my students, a TRUE beginner having just learned the game in school 2008-2009, was in first place alone going into the last round with the score of 6 wins 0 losses. Billy Knapp of Birmingham Alabama almost shook up the world he lost in the last round and came in a very respectable fourth in the country in the unrated section. Temple Price, another student of mine, tied for thirteenth in the high school rated section 6-1 -- very impressive. Also in that same section, Waymen Benifield came in sixteenth place 5 1/2 - 1 1/2. Also very impressive. These young men played in sections with over 500 other young girls and boys and did more than hold their own! These students (with their hard work and my teachings) really represented and helped to establish Birmingham and Alabama as a force in scholastic chess that is growing. Look out: the south is rising again! Led by a yankee general -- a poor boy from Brooklyn!

Method To My Madness: Understanding!!!!

There is method to my madness. I have not used any diagrams to illustrate the moves described. This has forced you to visualize the movement of the pieces, expediting the pace of your understanding. Chess is all about understanding!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Pawn Game, Part 4 - The Rooks

The next peice I like to introduce is the Rook (Castle). This piece is one of the easiest to learn. This is because the Rook moves in straight lines. The Rooks are placed at the corners of the chess board. If you put the Rooks on the chess board alone, they would have free reign to move straight or sideways as far as you would like to move. However when the other pieces you have learned are added to the board, the mobility (ability to move) of this piece is reduced to zero. In this position, the Rook cannot move. In order to move the rook, you would have to first move the pawn in front of the rook two spaces. Then the rook would have two spaces or squares that it could use to move forward after your opponent moves. Let's say you started the game the way I have already told you to, you now have two pawns meeting in the middle of the board and it's white's move, so white moves the pawn two spaces forward that's in front of his rook. It's now black's move. Black moves his rook's pawn; you now also have two sets of pawns meeting on the board. White moves her rook two squares foward and black does the same with his rook. Now its white's turn again and she moves her rook seven squares to the side. She has just moved across what is called the third rank. In chess, we have ranks that go across the board and files that travel up and down the board. We also have diagonals that the bishop and Queen (we will get to her) dominate. The Rook cannot jump over other pieces. The rook can move forward or sideways. It can move until it runs into one of the other pieces on the chess board. Then it can take the enemy piece or if it is one of its own pieces, it must stop. Two pieces cannot stand in the same square -- one must die; chess is a game of war! You cannot take your own men. So if the rook is moved and runs into a piece of its own color it must stop in the square before that piece. The Rook is now the strongest or highest valued piece on the board, it's value is 5 points, the Bishop is valued at 3 points, and the Knight is also three with the pawns being worth 1 point. The game is the same as before -- the only piece that can win this game for you is the pawn. You still must get the pawn to the other side of the board to win! Chess on!!