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”

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!

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”