For Years 3 to 6 chess is part of the school day. Children sign up for morning sessions at the beginning of each new term. These sessions are very popular and take chess learning to competitive levels. They run every morning for ten weeks of the term and players of all abilities are encouraged to join one of the daily clubs. We teach the rules and tactics of chess and follow the curriculum outlined in the Systematic Study of Chess. In addition to this, all players are expected to master algebraic notation. This system is internationally recognised and is used to record each move during a game. Chess notebooks are supplied at the beginning of the autumn term for this purpose.
Chess awards are announced termly and are eagerly awaited. Achievements to individual levels are recognised by bronze, silver and gold Carlsens. The top prize at PGP is called a Chess Magnus and all Carlsen levels must first be achieved to attempt this award.
While teaching the rules and art of chess we follow the Systematic Study of Chess:
- How to set up the board and how the pieces move.
- How to capture pieces.
- Understanding the board correctly – ranks, files and diagonals.
- The points value of each of the pieces.
- Check and checkmate.
- Opening principles – control key squares, activate pieces and protect the king.
- More advanced rules of castling and pawn promotion.
- Developing pieces together and controlling the centre.
- Making considered moves, captures and trades.
- Tactics – forks and pins. Using multiple pieces to attack and defend.
Also see Chesslings chess club for Years 1 and 2