Here I am trying to provide answers to some of the most common queries of parent. Hope it is useful for you!
Q1.What is the best age to start playing chess?
In my experience children start learning the basics around 4 years of age. But usually 5-6 is the age when they can be taught a bit more and maybe get started with professional training.
Q2. How important is the role of a parent? What can I do to help my child's progress in chess?
As a parent you can...
play with your child and develop the interest and confidence in the game.
be a mentor and motivate your child by narrating insipiring stories and events.
purchase chess material for individual practice at home.
prevent your child from racing towards victory through shortcuts and instead encourage him/her to earn it through hard work and commitment.
teach them the importance of individual practice at home.
help your child handle expected and unexpected results in a balanced way. Chess is a sport, so winning and losing is completely normal.
Q3. How important is it to get the right trainer for my child?
Very important. Once the child starts has learn the basics, starts participating in tournaments and is ready for the next level it is important to have a coach who himself has the requisite experience at the competitive level. Nothing replaces experience!
If possible try to have a coach rated FIDE 1800 and above
FIDE Ratings and Indicative Strengths
Class A- 1800-1999
Expert - 2000 -2199
FIDE Candidate Master - 2200-2300
FIDE Master - 2300 -2400
International Master - 2400-2500
Q4. How important it is for the child to practice regularly?
Ages 4-6 - Don't get too serious! Let them just see, touch, feel, enjoy whatever they do with the game :)
Taking to a class and tournament is ok but don't judge thir performance. 15 mins to half an hour spent daily on the game will be useful.
Advice- Play a game or two daily and let them win !
Let the child play with a software program like " chess master' set at an easy level.
Ages 6-8 - Children improve a bit faster at this age.
Take to a chess coach / class 1-2 time a week. Particpation in tournaments can be started.
Avoid individual coaching. Best is a place where the kid can play a few games with other kids and learn under some supervision.
Solve lots of basic tactical exercises and play a lots of games.
Online portals like www.chess.com, www.chesscube.com, www.chessclub.com can be used for playing online.
www.chesstempo.com is a good place to improve tactical skills.
Ages 8 and above
Daily practice is the key to mastery. Half an hour or an hour devoted daily to the practice of the game will reap rich dividends over time both in terms of development of the brain and competetive results.
It takes roughly 20 hours per week of practice to become a successful professional in any discipline. It would be ideal if a child, aspiring to become a Grand Master, can practice chess 2 hours a day
during weekdays/schooldays and around 4 hours on weekends.
Chess being an individual sport, a player should learn
to think for himself/herself and take tough decisions all by himself/herself.
Regular individual work will help improve these qualities greatly!