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 Puzzle ~ Mate-in-Two

Keep your students thinking with this mate-in-two puzzle from the MATCH Student Workbook.  Checkmate Puzzle from the MATCH Curriculum

If your students are stumped, you can offer this hint: Remove whatever is stopping your queen from doing what it wants to do!
Continue reading “Chess Puzzle ~ Mate-in-Two”

Challenging Pawn Mower Puzzle

In honor of the release of the Kindle version of our Pawn Mower  Combo Edition puzzle book, here is a brain teaser for your day ~ a rook puzzle with 20 pawns to capture.  If you are not familiar with Pawn Mower, you can find instructions and some easier puzzles on which to cut your teeth here.

20 Pawn Mower Rook Puzzle

Please do not post the answer in the comments section so that everyone who visits can play. Thanks!

Chess and Math Series ~ Using Chess to Practice Basic Counting and Graph Theory

MATCH Chess Curriculum Chess Math Series

Teachers often ask how they can use chess in their classrooms to address subject matter objectives in an engaging manner.  Likewise, schools and parents report similar goals for involving their kids in a chess program. Specifically, they hope that playing chess will improve academic performance and develop important cognitive skills. The challenge then, is how to do it in a way that is fun for kids and effective.

Activities that integrate subject matter content into chess lessons are a great way to address these goals. The hands-on, competitive nature of the game increases engagement by providing immediate relevance and feedback. At the same time, the subject integration increases the assimilation of academic learning by the kids. Continue reading “Chess and Math Series ~ Using Chess to Practice Basic Counting and Graph Theory”

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.

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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)”

Learn Chess with Pawn Mower ~ Printable Puzzles (Part 2, Bishops)

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

This method is particularly good for young children who can get overwhelmed by trying to learn the rules of the game when they are still trying to remember how the pieces move and capture.

Continue reading “Learn Chess with Pawn Mower ~ Printable Puzzles (Part 2, Bishops)”