Teaching Chess

I mentioned a few days ago that I will be teaching chess classes at Archer Glen elementary school where Jacob and Matthew are in 3rd and 1st grade, respectively. I helped out with the beginner class (1st - 3rd grade) last year - Jack Weeks was the instructor, and he was a great role model. I will teach two classes a week: the beginner class on Tuesday mornings and the advanced class on Wednesdays.

I feel like I have a pretty good handle on the beginner class; partly because I was involved last year, and partly because I'm comfortable with my ability to teach at that level. I will focus on basic rules, how pieces move, checkmates, stalemates, etc. I small amount of strategy and a bit of tactics. I will introduce the tactics of pins, forks, as well as walk through some simple endgame approaches. Strategies focus on pawn structure, control of the center, and material / position advantages.

I'm a bit more concerned about the advanced class, mostly because of my own abilities. I've played sense since I was a child, but I've never played competitively and I don't consider myself a very strong player. The theory makes sense to me, but I just don't have the pragmatic experience. So I'm trying to ramp up quickly by playing as much Chessmaster as possible and by reading some good texts on opening theory. I'll keep posting reports here as things progress.