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”

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 Teacher Shares Her Experience Using the MATCH Curriculum

Krystal Thomas was an undergraduate student with minimal experience with chess when she started teaching chess. She taught for several years as a part of a collaborative research project (learn more about that here and here) that used our curriculum. Continue reading “Chess Teacher Shares Her Experience Using the MATCH Curriculum”

7 Benefits of Student-Made Chess Sets

Benefits of student-made chess set craft activity

When new coaches initially see the make-your-own chess set activity in our chess curriculum, their reactions are quite varied. Of course, many, particularly primary school teachers, immediately see the benefits of this craft activity.  Understandably, to some it seems like more trouble than it’s worth. It does require planning, some supplies that may not be on hand, and some mess. Others see it as a distraction from the goal of learning about chess. However, we have been including this activity in our programs for over seven years and it never disappoints, particularly for students in primary grades.  Here’s why we think it is worth the time, trouble and mess – all of which can be minimized (more on that in our upcoming how-to article): Continue reading “7 Benefits of Student-Made Chess Sets”

10 Great Chess Activities for Clubs, Classes & Schools

Chess Activities for Clubs and Schools

Chess Relay

Divide group into teams.  Each team gets a board.  Teams are set up in two different rooms or far enough away so that they cannot hear the other team’s deliberations.  A third board is placed in the between the two groups with a clock.  The game is played on the middle board, but it is copied on each team’s board.  Runners go to the middle board, make a move, and hit the clock.  If the runner forgets to hit the clock, time continues to run in the other team’s favor.  Ideally, coaches or teachers work with each team on their move, planning ahead while the runner waits for the other team’s move.  Once the other team makes a move, the runner comes back, makes the move on the team board and waits (or another runner gets ready) for the next move.  Teachers and coaches do not offer specific moves, but general help, such as asking questions (e.g., What other moves would be good?  What do you think the other team is planning?). Continue reading “10 Great Chess Activities for Clubs, Classes & Schools”

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)”