Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Back Rank

Teaching by repetition is a great way to work with kids. Find a theme, explain the issue, and then start with some easy examples and it is quite surprising just how advanced kids can get in a short space of time. Of course, to ensure maximum retention the subject can be repeated in further sessions, or homework can be given out and the answers worked through (otherwise it can be a case of in one ear and out the other). This week at some of the Primary Schools I am working at with Chesskids, I am talking about the back rank. The classes have kids of mixed ability so some definitions are needed, and then some very basic examples of checkmates on the back rank. However, once the pattern has been established all the kids are looking for a check on the back rank, and even assessing moves to see whether they are safe or not.

Without knowing it, the kids are introduced to concepts such as exploiting a battery on a file, distraction, intermediate checks, sacrificing for mate (surprisingly difficult for a lot of kids to give up material) and guarding possible escape squares for the enemy king. Here is the homework I'm giving out this week, all taken from recent examples.

 White to play and win
 White to play and win
 Black to play and win
 White to play and win

Answers in the next post :)

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