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Part 5: How to Promote Chess Clubs in Schools

by John Bain

Students LOVE to see their names prominently displayed.

Chess Ladder is the Key!

The Chess Ladder must be constructed so that students' names are "up in lights!" Why is the Chess Ladder so important to the success of the club? Competition and recognition, simply competition and recognition! Chess is a competitive game, a very competitive game!

Students and faculty quickly become very interested in who the strongest chess players are in the school.

Many students in the school when they see their classmates' names on the Chess Ladders think, "I could beat that person." Then, they show up to chess club and participate in Chess Ladder CompetitionNothing will improve interest and attendance in a chess club more than a well-constructed and well-displayed chess ladder!

A Large Chess Ladder in Meeting Room! How Big?

When people enter the chess club meeting room, they should be able to read the names on the Chess Ladder. Write names in large block letters at least 2 inches in height--visible and legible even when viewed from standing across the room.

Construct the name-tags on some durable material like hard plastic or wood, which can withstand frequent handling by students after they compete for positions on the Chess Ladder. Each student will need two name tags--one for the 5

A good Chess Ladder is the cornerstone of a successful chess club, but, unfortunately, is not available commercially! Nothing will improve interest and attendance in a chess club more than a well-constructed and well-displayed Chess Ladder.

Post Hard-Copies of Chess Ladder Rankings around School.

Soon, the Chess Ladder will become the focus of the chess club--and hopefully, the focus of the whole student body if done correctly.

Hard-Copies. In order to focus the school's attention on the Chess Ladder, post 8" x 11" paper hard-copies of the Chess Ladder--with Chess Club meeting times at the bottom--in several locations throughout the school. The paper hard-copies of the Chess Ladder posted around the school should be updated weekly as Ladder changes are made.

Locations for posting 8" x 11" paper hard-copies of the Chess Ladder that work well include: 1) the glass doors of the library where students see the Chess Ladders as they enter and leave the library; 2) on bulletin boards and inside trophy cases; 3) on the glass doors of the main entrance to the school where students view the Chess Ladders as they enter and leave the school; and, 4) wherever permissible.

Announcements in School Media - Meeting Times & Chess Ladder Rankings!

Daily Announcements. Many schools read Daily Announcements over the Public Address (PA) system, noting news, upcoming events, sporting event results and so forth. Usually, the school has deadlines for submitting Daily Announcements. The Chess Club announcements can be simple:

"Tuesday in Chess Club, Sarah Smith won the #2 position on the Standard Chess Ladder. James Buckley climbed from #12 to #9 on the Blitz Chess Ladder. Chess Club meets after school in Room 222 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:30-5:30 pm. Hope to see you there!"

In the interest of time, report only 1 or 2  students' movement on the Chess Ladder--the purpose is to attract attention to the Chess Club and its meeting times. Other students will gain recognition from posting copies of the entire Chess Ladder around the school and in media.

School Newspaper, Newsletter and Website. If the school's newspaper, newsletter to parents and website covers sports, they will cover chess, publishing the club's Chess Ladder, meeting location and times.

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