Junior Chess

We host regular junior chess nights at Cork Chess Club. These start at 7.00pm. All players are welcome from those with no knowledge of the game to experienced players.

Just turn up on the night or contact corkchess@gmail.com to be added to our Junior Chess mailing list and WhatsApp groups to be notified of upcoming junior events.

Openings

  • Try to move all your pieces at least once. You need your full army to attack your opponent.
  • You want to control the center as your pieces will be stronger there.
  • Roughly the order to develop is first move pawns to gain space, then knights and bishops, castling to get the king safe and develop the rook and only then the queen.
  • Don’t bring your queen out too early – she’ll only get attacked by your opponent and you may even lose her. And it’s time to leave Scholar’s Mate behind! It may have worked up until now but stronger opponents will attack your queen and develop their own army.
  • For more advanced openings see this booklet which will introduce your to some of the standard e4 openings. Time to learn about the Italian Game, Evan’s Gambit, Sicilian and more.

Making a Move

  1. Think about the move first – do not touch the piece until you are ready to move it
  2. Move the piece
  3. Record the move on your scoresheet
  4. Press your clock

Recording Moves

Non-Captures

  • For pawn moves write down the name of the square that the pawn moves to e.g. d4, g6, e5.
  • For piece moves write down the initial of the piece and then the square that it moves to e.g. Nc3

The letters for the pieces are

  • R       Rook
  • N       Knight
  • B       Bishop
  • Q      Queen
  • K       King

Be careful about King and Knight. They both begin with K but only the King uses that letter, the Knight uses N.

Captures

  • For a pawn these are written down like <file that the pawn moved from> x <square that the pawn ends up on>. For example dxc4, fxg6.
  • For a piece these are written down like <letter of the piece> x <square that the piece ends up on>. For example Nxf2, Bxh7.
  • It doesn’t matter whether it is a pawn or a piece that is being captured.

Castling

  • For kingside castling we write 0-0
  • For queenside castling we write 0-0-0

Chessossity

We are using Chessossity as part of the Junior Chess club. Each kid will get an account here and can use it for learning about the game and doing exercises. Here are some tips for using the site.

Login: Go to https://www.chessossity.com and enter your name and password. You will then be taken to the initial screen.

Change Password: From this initial screen click the edit button next to the name in the panel on the right hand side of the screen. This will pop up a dialog where you can edit your password and enter parents’ details. Click save to save your details.

There are size tiers from pawn to king. Each tier contains a number of videos and exercises. Click on the play button in the round icon to play the next video. A chessboard will load – click start to play the video. Between each segment of the video there will be a brief pause.

For each video there are some exercises which can be taken by clicking on the Question Mark icons. This will load a chessboard where you will have to solve a puzzle. There will be a number of these that you have to get right to move to the next level.

If you want to test yourself against the other users on the site there is a button on the initial screen marked Time Trials. Clicking this will start a 10 minute timer and you have to solve as many puzzles as possible within that time.

Links

https://www.icu.ie/juniors – Junior Chess Home Page for the ICU

https://www.chesskid.com/ – Great site for kids to play chess safely online against other kids and also learn how to play chess in a structured way.

https://www.ficheall.ie – An organisation promoting chess in primary schools in Cork

Moves For Life – This is a website run by people in the Irish Chess community aimed at kids playing chess in schools.

Downloads

Cummins – 0-1200 A Coaching Manual – This is a pdf download available on the FIDE chess website by an Irish teacher Ron Cummins. It is an excellent manual on how to teach chess starting from scratch to get to a level that would win the minor competition in weekend ICU tournaments.