Guest Post ~ Bobby Fischer & Chess Resources for Boy Scouts and Others

Dr. Alexey Root Blog Post Boy Scouts and Strategy books

In this post, Dr. Alexey Root, WIM provides a little chess history and introduces two chess books that she recommends as resources for:

  1. Beginning to intermediate level chess players ages 11-18+.
  2. Boy Scouts interested in earning the Chess merit badge.
  3. Chess coaches who work with either of these groups of students. In particular, the Fischer columns have “chess puzzles” which would be good for homework or for group problem solving. Prepare With Chess Strategy provides exercises that teach chess strategies. Resources for teaching chess strategies are less common than tactics resources, such as “find the tactic” books and Internet trainers.


In the United States, if you say about someone “he’s a real boy scout” you mean that he is a role model. The type of person you would pick to organize donations after a disaster or to instill pride in America. But hearing “he’s a real boy scout” would not make you think of World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer in his later years. In the decade before Continue reading “Guest Post ~ Bobby Fischer & Chess Resources for Boy Scouts and Others”

Top 10 MATCH Chess Curriculum Blog Posts of 2016

MATCH Chess Curriculum Top 2016 Posts

  1. Domination: Our top post in 2016 shares a skill building game that teaches students to see the board at a glance. This post includes video instruction by GM Maurice Ashley and ideas for making the game more challenging (hint: play the “mean way” and use a clock). If you like Domination, you might also like Quibs, a skill building game using queens and bishops.
  2. Managing Varied Skill Levels in the Chess Classroom: Our second most popular post highlights creative ideas for making a class engaging when you have students with varied skill levels in the same class. If this is an issue for some of your classes, you might also find our post on using learning stations helpful.
  3. Continue reading “Top 10 MATCH Chess Curriculum Blog Posts of 2016”

Chess Classroom Activity: Skill Building Mini-Game with Queens and Bishops

Chess Skill Building Game Quibs

Skill builders and games are used throughout the MATCH Chess Curriculum to practice important chess and cognitive skills in an engaging way. By using a game format, students are more willing to engage in the repeated practice needed to improve important techniques that have a direct crossover into chess tactics. In previous posts we have covered how to use two such games: Pawn Mower and Domination. In this post, we discuss another game that we call Quibs (Queen Intercepts Bishops) which was designed to help students improve their ability to see/defend against threats, especially forks.

What is a fork? In chess, a fork is when an opponent attacks two pieces at once. When this happens, one of the pieces is likely to be captured because it is often impossible to save both pieces.

You can use any of these games to reinforce important lesson concepts, make productive use of small blocks of time, prime your students’ brains at the beginning of class, drill key skills, or provide an alternative activity for some students while you work with others.  The two keys to success are to make sure you really understand how each activity works and to present them as fun activities in their own right.  Don’t hesitate to make it exciting with game show commentary, time limits and general enthusiasm. Continue reading “Chess Classroom Activity: Skill Building Mini-Game with Queens and Bishops”

MATCH Chess Curriculum Highlights and FAQ

MATCH Chess Curriculum Highlights

What is the MATCH curriculum?

The MATCH curriculum is a comprehensive chess program based on the training methods Grandmaster Maurice Ashley has been using effectively for over 25 years with the students in his classes, camps and private coaching. If you’ve seen Maurice teach, then you know that he keeps his classes moving and entertaining as he instructs with dynamic interaction and fun activities. We’ve taken all of that and crammed it into a curriculum that includes not just the content, but the activities and games that make his teaching so engaging. It is all provided in a digital presentation format so you can easily focus on teaching your students. No more hustling to pull together puzzles or other activities. The lessons are planned out and waiting for you to bring it to life. If you would like, you can also purchase the hard copy student manuals or simply print out the specific resources you want to incorporate. Continue reading “MATCH Chess Curriculum Highlights and FAQ”

Chess Coach Resources ~ Free Printable Chess Posters for Beginners

We are pleased to provide four free chess posters for chess teachers and coaches who work with beginners. They are free to print as long as you do not alter them.  They are 18 x 24 inches. Simply download and save the file.  From there, you may upload it to a printing service. Continue reading “Chess Coach Resources ~ Free Printable Chess Posters for Beginners”

Domination ~ A Fun Chess Skill Builder for Helping Students See the Chessboard at a Glance

In this video from our curriculum, GM Ashley instructs students how to play this fun mini-game.

Introduction: At MATCH, we believe that complex skills are more easily learned by breaking them down and studying the component skills in depth. However, traditional drills can be, well, a little boring. So we use mini-games like Domination to make them fun and engaging so students actually want to play them.  All the while, we know they are focusing on developing specific skills without having to simultaneously process the complexities of a full game.

Domination is actually a game about queens, not pawns. The pawns act like queens because they control all the ranks, files and diagonals on which they stand. We only use pawns to play because chess sets do not come with eight queens. Continue reading “Domination ~ A Fun Chess Skill Builder for Helping Students See the Chessboard at a Glance”

Learn Chess with Pawn Mower ~ Printable Puzzles (Part 1, Rooks)

Pawn Mower puzzles are a great way to teach beginning students how the pieces move. Young players, in particular, often struggle to remember how all of the pieces move if taught all in one sitting.  The puzzles allow students to focus on one piece at a time until each piece is mastered.

Begin by teaching them how one piece moves. Before moving on to another piece, let them do Pawn Learn Chess with Pawn Mower Rook Moves
Mower puzzles featuring that piece until you are confident they have mastered its movement. The younger the player, the longer you will need to spend on each piece. Don’t worry, they will have fun with the puzzles, so they won’t mind if it takes some time. If they do, it might be a sign that they are ready to move on.

Continue reading “Learn Chess with Pawn Mower ~ Printable Puzzles (Part 1, Rooks)”

Learn Chess with Pawn Mower ~ Printable Puzzles (Part 5, Summary)

If you have been following our series on learning chess with Pawn Mower, you now know how all of the pieces move.  If not, you can catch up by following these links to learn how the RookBishop Knight and Queen which explain more and links to free rook, bishop, and knight puzzles.


Learn to Play Chess with Pawn Mower Puzzles


Once you feel confident you’ve mastered how each piece moves, all you need to learn is a few additional rules to be able to play a full game.

The King: The king can move one square in any direction.  If your king is being threatened (check), you must solve that problem before you make another move.  The king is never captured.

Read More!

Learn Chess with Pawn Mower ~ Printable Puzzles (Part 4, Queen)

Learn Chess the Easy Way with Pawn Mower PuzzlesThis is Part 4 of a series on how to use Pawn Mower puzzles to learn/teach how to play chess.  Click here to see Part 1 here for Part 2 , here for part 3 which explain more and links to free rook, bishop, and knight puzzles.

The queen is a fun piece to learn, but the most challenging puzzles of all because the queen has the most options on each move.  Starting with a small number of pieces and gradually moving up as each new level is mastered, will keep students from getting too frustrated.

One of the advantages of this approach is that it can be completely individualized, keeping students in the sweet spot where Continue reading “Learn Chess with Pawn Mower ~ Printable Puzzles (Part 4, Queen)”

Learn Chess with Pawn Mower ~ Printable Puzzles (Part 3, Knight)

Learn Chess the Easy Way with Pawn Mower Knight MovesThis is Part 3 of a series on how to use Pawn Mower puzzles to learn/teach how to play chess.  Click here to see Part 1 and here for Part 2 which explain more and links to some free rook and bishop puzzles.

The knight can be particularly challenging for players of all ages.  Younger players often have trouble remembering how the knight moves.  Other beginners may have trouble visualizing all of the places to which a knight can move. Continue reading “Learn Chess with Pawn Mower ~ Printable Puzzles (Part 3, Knight)”