Part 4-1: Solving Chess Puzzles!

by John Bain

Activities. Activities that are fun--and that improve chess knowledge and skills--are the lifeblood of a well-run, fun, strong chess club! Competition, essential to chess, plays a large part in the activities.

Some competitions are fun and relatively stress-free--like Solving Chess Puzzles, Bughouse Chess-Siamese Chess, and Chess Club Quad Tournaments, where students play at their own ability levels. Other competitions are intense, especially as students grow older--like Chess Club Ladder Competition and Scholastic Chess Tournaments.

Begin each chess club with two problems displayed on the Demonstration Chessboards ($39.00). Label them Problem 1 and Problem 2. On one, display a simple problem like the "White to move and checkmate in two moves" above, and the other display a more difficult problem like, "White to move and win the Black Queen for a Knight in two moves."

White to move and Checkmate in two moves!

Problem 1: White to move and checkmate in two moves. SEE PROBLEM 1 ANSWER BELOW!

White to move and win the black Queen for a Knight in two moves!

Problem 2: White to move and win the black Queen for a Knight in two moves! SEE PROBLEM 2 ANSWER BELOW!

Have the students write their answers in algebraic notation on a chess score sheet and put the answers into boxes labeled Problem 1 and Problem 2.

Then, later during the chess club when students are gathered for ladder challenges, conduct a drawing and award a prize to the first student whose name is drawn with the correct answer for Problem 1 and to the first student with the correct answer for Problem 2.  Prizes do not need to be extravagant to hold the students' interest in this activity--certificates work well as do healthy and unhealthy snacks! Be creative with the prizes.

Problem 1 Answer:
1. Qb8+!+ Nxb8
2. Rd8#

Problem 2 Answer:
1. Nc7+! K moves
2. Nxe6 wins the black Queen!

What Makes "Chess Clubs For Students" Work?

Parts 1-6

by John Bain

Intro: What Makes "Chess Clubs For Students" Work? outlines practices for building a well-attended, successful chess club.

Part 1 - Basic Chess Skills and Psychology For Students emphasizes how learning the Chess Rules and Three Psychological Practices enable students to become stronger players.

Part 2 - Basic Endgame Checkmate Patterns For Students covers Four Basic Endgame Checkmate Patterns that will yield collateral benefits to all aspects of a student's games.

Part 3  - Choosing Location, Meeting Times & Equipment demonstrates that the right location, the right meeting times, and quality chess equipment will foster enthusiastic student chess club participation.

Part 4 - Chess Club Activities For Students shows that activities that are fun--and that improve chess knowledge and skills--are the lifeblood of a well-run, great chess club!

Part 5 - How to Promote Chess Clubs in Schools presents the very best, promising practices for promoting school chess clubs.

Part 6 - What Chess Teaches Kids About Life notes the virtues, lessons and life skills that chess teaches!

NEXT> Part 4-2: Teacher & Students' Presentations will present “simple” master games and students' games that demonstrate “Principles For Stronger Chess!”