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a 1500 rated player - should I help a chess club? 
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King
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Post a 1500 rated player - should I help a chess club?
A buddy of mine is going to start a chess club at a magnet school here in Minnepolis - (in this case, I think it's a school that has Arabic immersion, which isn't a big deal to me as long as I don't have to be fluent - LOL) - a buddy of mine who is running it - (probably 1300) is going to do it and asked me to assist - probably with working with stronger students and so forth

My main issue is - uh, I'm only 1500 - how can I help any of these kids move up to bigger things?- yikes! - it would meet early in the mornings before school - (when I'm off work anyways) and would most certainly take up a time and an energy commitment -

mostly I'm just paranoid cause I'm really not the best qualified to assist those who are making good improvement - I'm afraid of giving really bad advice - what do you guys think?

RB

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Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:33 pm
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King
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Post Re: a 1500 rated player - should I help a chess club?
That's really cool news. Whiskey, you have a knack for clear & entertaining explanations and i think you'd be a terrific teacher! A lot of times a 1500-rated player can be a better teacher for beginners than a master, just like a regular high school math teacher can probably teach algebra as well or better than a PhD candidate. Sounds great.

Also, maybe dont worry so much about training future champions but just share your enjoyment of the game.
Don't let your rating stop you and let us know how it goes. :)

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Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:28 pm
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King

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Post Re: a 1500 rated player - should I help a chess club?
How old are these kids and how strong are they already? If for example they are already quite strong and can beat you, then you shouldn't focus on the aspect of the game as much. You can still help out with psychological issues though! Like how not to get into time-trouble. Or how these kids react after they make a blunder. For this you just need experience and that's something you have. And you can act like Curtains does with the masterclasses: you could ask the questions if the kids aren't confident enough to ask them.
If the kids are young and don't know much about chess then you're absolutely more than qualified. Stuff like how to mate with queen and king against a lone king is something you won't have any problems with. Basic tactics like a double attack etc. no problems whatsoever for you.
Basically you can always make yourself usefull. It's just which area do you focus on.

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Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:48 am
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Post Re: a 1500 rated player - should I help a chess club?
Well, if he's *starting* a chess club, then this school isn't one of those national powerhouses where there's a gazillion strong players in the student body or they'd already have a chess club. So there's no reason to worry about being "only" 1500. From what I've read, most scholastic chess coaches are under 1700 anyway, so it isn't like you need to be a master or even an expert to do it.

Also, being a 1500 might not seem like much to those of us who hang out here and are painfully aware of how much we don't know and how good really good players are, but being a 1500 is extremely strong relative to the general population. Here's a rating/percentile comparison of the various rating classes:

Name Range Percentile
Senior Master above 2399 99
Master 2200–2399 97–98
Expert 2000–2199 89–96
Class A 1800–1999 77–88
Class B 1600–1799 59–76
Class C 1400–1599 41–58
Class D 1200–1399 22–40
Class E below 1200 1–21

So being 1500 is around 50th percentile +/- relative to all rated players in the US, of which there are maybe 100,000 active ones and perhaps 2-3 times that number if you count inactive ones. So you're about 50th percentile in a group that represents the 99.9 percentile of chess skill of the general population (300,000 rated players out of ~300,000,000).

My guess is you've got a lot to teach most of the kids you'll be working with... :)

Good luck!

L8erz...
=wild=

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Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:26 am
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Post Re: a 1500 rated player - should I help a chess club?
The most important thing is that you show them chess is fun! A 1500 can do that just as well as a master, and being a 1500 you can maybe relate better to some of their problems.


Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:14 am
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Post Re: a 1500 rated player - should I help a chess club?
Also, why worry about your rating? It all goes into preparation when it comes to teaching. Mark Dvoretsky has made a great career training players significantly higher rated than himself! One of his methods is to prepare selected positions beforehand, so that he will already have a great understanding of the exercise (such as being able to answer questions and also play the position at a very high level!)
tt


Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:48 am
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Post Re: a 1500 rated player - should I help a chess club?
There's a lot of good suggestions in this forum. Don't doubt yourself, as Tyger said, Dvoretsky coaches stronger players. NBA teams, NFL, NHL etc all have coaches that can no longer play, but they coach.

I guess that's the difference, coaching and/or teaching. Very young ones need to be taught how the pieces move whereas a coach can help higher rated players improve while still teaching little Johnny how the horse moves.

I have three people that I coach; a "C", a "B" and a Master. I am not a master, yet I coach a master. Strong players need someone there to tell them the truth and to find correct answers. The master I work with, admittedly only once each month, appreciates what I have to offer. Among his peers he only has 'Yes men' as he calls them, they don't want to lose his friendship by pointing out weak spots (that is, if they are able). When I work for him I work doubly hard (much harder than the work I put into my videos) as he is paying me to tweak his play. As for the others I work with I do what Tyger mentioned, I prepare lessons before hand so that I can give what knowledge I do have an will be ready for their questions.

One thing is for sure, do not be ashamed to say 'I don't know, let's find out'. I think you'd do fine, but I do have to say that there is indeed an investment in time. But on the good side, you might pick up a few pointers from yourself when teaching/coaching... happens to me all the time!

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Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:58 pm
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Post Re: a 1500 rated player - should I help a chess club?
Anyone can help a chess club, as long as they have a love for the game, and understand the psychological aspects/challenges that comes through playing the game (understanding how the pieces move wouldn't hurt I suppose). You are more than qualified to lend your experience and share your passion to players of all levels. Helping/starting a chess club is very different from "teaching" someone...though you'd still be qualified to teach a great portion of the population.


Sun Aug 08, 2010 11:13 pm
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Post Re: a 1500 rated player - should I help a chess club?
update - I told my friend I would assist when I could - (I'll be working during the Sat. tourneys and will be rolling for other sessions after work exhausted probably) but if I could assist at all, I would do so - so maybe I can provide some updates as time goes on - I think he's gonna fire up Oct 1st

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Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:20 pm
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Post Re: a 1500 rated player - should I help a chess club?
I have run more than one club for kids.

1. Structure. - This is by far the the most important. Standard start/finish times. Set activities.

2.Communication. - Not only from you to the kids, but try and let parents know what is happening in the club.

3.Involvement. All the children should be involved ALL the time they are at class. There should never be any kids just hanging about not knowing what to do. This is the number one reason children drop out, being excluded during class.

Though being a strong chessplayer helps with lessons ( mostly just the prep anyway ) it is hardly important. The only thing I would say about instruction for any one who teaches, is do not teach what is beyond you.

Good luck.


Mon Sep 06, 2010 1:23 pm
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King
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Post Re: a 1500 rated player - should I help a chess club?
we had our first class today - we had almost enough boards for everyone - (20 kids and 6 on the waiting list but waiting list showed up anyways) - we spent 45 minutes going over the basics of pawn movement, then rook and bishop and we'd let the kids set up and move all the pieces after we taught them how each piece moves

Apparently this is the first club the school has, so they were taking pictures - maybe we'll get a page in the yearbook - woot! it's kind of a new public school that stresses international learning, and has what I would say is a high proportion of Islamic students (which is normal for that neighborhood)

I remember reading on Natalia Pogonina's web site - (when I wasn't gawking at her pictures - :D) - that the big thing is young kids just want to play - like was said earlier in this thread - so even though we got 26 kids and it's hard to supervise each one is moving correctly, I think we're in better shape - but of the 26, probably 5 or 6 really knew what they were doing and then we improvised on the rest

then to close, David and I did a 2 minute speed chess game - they got a kick out of that - if we hadn't left the 3 sec. increment on it would have been more dramatic - might be a good way to end the last 5 minutes most of the time - LOL

rb

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Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:17 am
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Post Re: a 1500 rated player - should I help a chess club?
Don't care about numbers when trying to teach chess to kids who are new to the game.
A friend of mine has a rating of 925, and he is teaching chess to kids at school.
He knows the basics of chess, and certainly has a good positional understanding, he however gets nervous quickly when playing, and is not confident about his tactical strength which he certainly has, but which he doesn't believe in.

So I would say, if you wanna work with kids, which is certainly fun, but not always easy, you should give give it a try. I myself started teaching chess at school last year (was 17 back then), and it's actually quite fun to do so.
What you should never forget:

- Kids are fast learners, but they often get distracted easily, they start to fool around and can't learn everything just by showing it to them.
So you should try to show your authority, that doesn't mean you should yell at them, but you should try to make clear in a serious voice that you're playing chess and not rugby.
You should as well repeat certain thematics, like mating with queen+king and stuff like that, play games, like putting sweets on 10 squares of the board and give them 2 knights to try to "win" them, in order to teach the way knights move.
But after some fun and games, you should as well try to get serious again.
- You should try to structure your lessons, it makes no sense to jump from Openings to how to mate to Isolated pawns to....
I got a teaching manual from my chess club, which was written by "Van Wijgerden", it's in German though, but it provides a logical structure of lessons.
It started with the description of the board, how the pieces move, where you place the pieces, how the pawns move, how the king moves (castle), how to pieces hit other pieces, etc...

It's really quite the fun to teach chess to the kids, too bad I'm gonna move to another town to study after school, but you should give it a try if you like working with kids.


Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:03 pm
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Post Re: a 1500 rated player - should I help a chess club?
Keep up the good work.

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Sat Oct 30, 2010 10:24 am
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Post Re: a 1500 rated player - should I help a chess club?
good luck. i think that a 1500 rated player is anywhere in the *mid* if i'm not wrong. this means that there's obviously an experienced person, but there's still a lot to work on. i used to have 1500 but then had health problems and that's why started searching for pharmacy reviews instead of playing chess, unfortunately.


Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:11 pm
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