“Every chess master was once a beginner.” – Irving Chernev
Has your family jumped on the chess craze? Ever since the Netflix show “The Queen’s Gambit” first aired last fall, the game of chess has seen a resurgence in popularity among people of all ages and backgrounds. With a rich history spanning more than 1,500 years, chess is a universal game; defying language barriers and crossing cultural boundaries. Not only is it a social game of logic and strategy, it has also been shown to improve cognitive skills, emotional intelligence, and academic performance!
Armed with knowledge of these benefits, I decided to teach my kids the fascinating game of chess. A friend had recently gifted us with a chess board and accompanying story book about how to play. Each night we would read a bit of the chess story and learn the names, roles, and movements of each chess piece. Soon we were playing multiple games each night; however, I soon realized that my kids were quickly learning how to outmaneuver me and after losing more games than I can count, I accepted the fact that they needed to play with more skillful players. Thankfully, their school had a free chess club. They quickly joined and further developed their chess playing skills.
Flash forward to our current pandemic situation and because my youngest hasn’t been able to participate in chess club at school, I naturally turned to the library and found some great resources that can help maintain his chess skills until things fully open up again. Here are a few of my favorites:
Chess for Kids by Michael Basman
This is a great book to learn the rules of chess with clear photos of how to play.
Chess for Kids: How to Play and How to Win by Richard James
This is an interesting introduction to chess, presented in story format. It features seven-year-old twins Alice and Sam and their quest to stop an impending alien invasion.
For advanced players:
Power Chess for Kids – Volume 1: Learn How to Think Ahead and Become One of the Best Players in Your School by Charles Hertan
Power Chess for Kids – Volume 2: More Ways to Think Ahead and Become One of the Best Players in Your School by Charles Hertan
If are looking to develop your strategy, these books are for you.
Did you know that with your library card you have access to Brainfuse’s HelpNow? Not only does it offer help with homework, writing skills, and foreign languages, but it features live chess tutoring as well! Learn chess strategies and improve your cognitive thinking with an expert chess coach, all free through this amazing resource.
So with all of these resources at their fingertips, your children may be on their way to becoming the next Phiona Mutesi, Bobby Fisher, or Tanitoluwa “Tani” Adewumi.