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When they met in 1934 at a reception at the Cuban Embassy in Washington, Princess Chegodaeva was probably the only one to whom the name of Jose Raul Capablanca did…

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At what age should a child learn to play chess?

The game of chess has always attracted people with a sharp and inquiring mind. This sport has a beneficial effect on intellectual development. Therefore, sooner or later, the question arises among young parents: at what age can a child learn to play a chess game? Teachers agree on one thing: any case is individual, and you need to evaluate the potential of the baby, considering his genetics, health characteristics and other factors. Nevertheless, there are a number of general recommendations that will help you find the answer.

We play chess from an early age
You can start learning already in preschool age (and even earlier). Experts believe that starting from 3 years, the baby begins to actively learn the world around him, try it for strength, comprehend new rules. A person can already speak in long conscious sentences, build simple logic chains, he has established neural connections in his head. He constantly asks clarifying questions to adults, wanting to understand the causes and consequences of our complex life. Character formation is manifested in the desire for independence in all areas. The brain absorbs information literally like a sponge, so the principle “the sooner the better” is appropriate here: having learned the basics of chess in childhood, a person will not experience difficulties at a more mature age.

If you decide to grow up a little genius and send your child to the chess section at an early preschool age (3-4 years), then you need to keep in mind: you won’t have to wait for a serious, rational, thoughtful game. Still, you are not dealing with an adult who has decided to consciously devote his free time to this occupation. The kid needs a special approach.

All classes should have a playful character. Any experienced teacher will tell you that the human brain during this period actively assimilates information that could interest or cheer. A mature person knows the word “necessary” and works through “I do not want”. For a child, this technique will become a real torture: a lesson in the game of chess will begin to be associated with torment. In order not to spoil your child’s bright memories of childhood, try not to put pressure on him and take a closer look: what if chess is just your unquenched ambitions and high expectations? Do classes interfere with other, more exciting activities that bring your child pleasure? If the answers are negative, then it is worth starting the development of a new sport.

Alone or at the club?
It is good if one of the parents or close relatives knows how to play chess freely. And if not? Then there is reason to think about a chess club. Usually, teachers are ready to accept young chess players from the age of 4 years. But the emphasis, as you might guess, is on adults and talented: the club is primarily interested in victories, successful appearances in tournaments and training new personnel. Few people take on crumbs: in most cases, classes with young children are aimed at general development, because not everyone will become great chess players.

Now many centers of additional and preschool education offer, among other services, classes in a chess circle. This will be the best solution: there your child will not encounter a frivolous attitude to the educational and game process, but too intense immersion in the subject of study will not happen. You will have time to watch how the kid perceives this occupation, whether he has talent. If it turns out that the glory of Garry Kasparov awaits the beginning chess player, then you will always have time to send him to the chess club for more intensive and serious training (already at the age of 6-7 years).

A small dilemma immediately arises: is it worth telling the crumb about some principles of a chess game before the lessons? There are several points of view.
Do not give the child this knowledge, since unsystematic learning will only harm the fragile consciousness. It is better if the child comes to the teacher without experience.
To explain at least the essence of this rather complicated game so that for a child chess does not become a real shock and a set of inconceivable rules. Home acquaintance with an intellectual sport will allow him to feel more relaxed during classes.
If you decide to adhere to the second position, then some simple, but effective tips on this subject await you.

We explain to the child the basic rules of chess
As already mentioned, teaching a child is not the same as teaching an adult. But nothing is impossible: a smart kid can easily cope with an obstacle if you help him a little. So, what exercises can you come up with to master the basic theory of chess?

Tell the kid that the chessboard is an impromptu battlefield. Chess pieces are “warriors”, each of which has its own strictly defined function. Try to intrigue the child: does he not want to feel the taste of victory? Of course yes. And for this you will have to try: remember the names of the figures and their moves (what is the meaning of the pawns, on which square the queen is placed …). The first time to master the rules will not work.

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