PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

Chess Update – What have we been up to?

Dear Parents/Guardians,

My name is Mrs. Olga and it is my third year working at BSI. This year our chess program was extended to reach all K through 5 grades. I am thrilled and honored to be teaching your children.

Kindergarteners and First graders have just finished learning how the chess pieces move. We’ve been practicing each movement by playing related games like “hunters and runners”, “pawn race”, etc. Please ask your kids to teach you those games and then challenge them to a game or two, if possible. In the next few weeks, we will focus on the most important piece in chess, the king, and subsequently the ultimate goal in the  game of chess.

Second and Third graders after reviewing all the rules of chess are now learning simple checkmating patterns like checkmate with a queen (“queen’s sandwich”), with two rooks (“ladder mate”), with one rook, etc. Sometime after Thanksgiving will start working on tactics. Third graders were asked to bring a folder they can use for chess materials. Thank you all who have already brought a folder for chess. Students will be copying chess games on related tactics, eventually putting them all together and ultimately creating their own chess book.

Fourth and Fifth graders will study games of World Chess Champions and other great chess players of now and then in a course of this school year. We have already examined games by Magnus Carlsen, Levon Aronian, Garry Kasparov and many others and in the process finding and identifying tactics, we learned last year (or the year before). Students will make a book cover for their collection of the games.

To give every child a chance to experience being a part of a real chess tournament we’ve started class championships in second through fifth grade. Although time is limited and some games have to be adjudicated, it is a good opportunity to partner with or/and challenge almost everyone in class based on where they are.

Stay tuned for our next chess updates.

Happy Thanksgiving to all BSI families!