India's first chess features print magazine published quarterly from Lucknow since 2004 by Aspire Welfare Society.
Showing posts with label chess book. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chess book. Show all posts

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Chess at Age 2? Yes, says Dutch Trainer, Psychologist Karel van Delft

The agony of a chess parent has little relief. The most stressed out people at any kids' tournament are usually the parents!
Common questions go:
- Why is my child losing?
- What is required to become a champion?
- When to introduce my kid to chess?
- How to play, where to play, how to study etc.
Does not a guardian angel exist for chess parents and trainers?
Okay, we found one! In human suit, he goes by the name Karel van Delft.
Location: About an hour's train trip from Amsterdam, in the quaint town of Apeldoorn. 

However, you needn't risk travelling in these pandemic times. New in Chess has just published 2,000 hours of painstaking research, analysis and counselling ideas by this journalist, writer, chess trainer and psychologist.

Our writer, Shilpa Mehra, discusses the book, children's chess and Karel van Delft's online mental training sessions open to players and parents.
 
Chess school Schaakacademie Apeldoorn girls play against boys. As necessary Karel is counted a girl! (c) Karel van Delft


Keeping the Dutch orange ablaze on the cover, the beautifully designed book "Chess for Educators - How to Organize and Promote a Meaningful Chess Teaching Program" serves as quite a guiding light for chess parents and trainers. The book is surely the most comprehensive guide yet for teachers and parents in the chess world.

Karel van Delft and scientist Giovanni Sala at a Japanese restaurant in London. Go on, identify some very strong GMs in the background. (c) Karel van Delft






 
The book begins with a clear premise. "There is a distinction between competitive chess and educational (instructional) chess... Also, the role of parents is often more important." Karel sets out to deal with not which effects chess education can have, but which combination of which chess-teaching methods and which form of didactic coaching can lead to optimal learning effects for certain target groups, and in which circumstances.

"In other words, it’s all about combinations – in the same way that the combination of hydrogen and oxygen produces water," he writes.

Why Chess is Great for Kids?

Chess is a playground for the brain. Children enjoy playing it, and it poses fascinating challenges to their brain. But the game also widens their horizon. Chess teaches us life lessons – for example, the concept of problem-solving. Another example of an insight that children can pick up effortlessly during a chess lesson: at the chessboard, you always have to look first what your opponent can do, and this is just like in traffic – if you don’t look what others are doing, accidents may happen, writes Van Delft.

Karel van Delft says, "I have come to the conclusion, just like many of my colleague psychologists, that chess is a metaphor for life. You can learn to shape your personality, and develop self-knowledge, self-confidence, 
self-management and a ‘growth mindset’: ‘looking, thinking and doing’, judgement and planning etc.

Chess can contribute to the cognitive, social, emotional and meta-cognitive development of children. 

For children with special needs and other groups, chess can also be a means for empowerment. It helps them develop self-respect, and to get a grip on themselves and their environment.

In other words, especially for children, chess has many benefits. What are these exactly, and how can chess have a positive influence on the education of children? That is what we examine in this book, says Karel van Delft.

Chess school Schaakacademie Apeldoorn. (c) Karel van Delft

Grandchildren Hidde and Lois Weller with IM Merijn van Delft and Karel van Delft playing Hands and Brains. (c) Karel van Delft

Sunshine chess: Grandson Hidde takes on Karel van Delft in the Park de Vlindertuin. Photo: Harry Weller

For Karel, this is not pure theory. He backs it up with more than thirty years of practical experience.

The book is surely the most comprehensive guide yet for teachers and parents in the chess world.

First, he has two very worthy chess opponents and research subjects in-house. His son, International Master Merijn van Delft, and grandson, Hidde, 9. The young Mr Hidde is known to train four and more hours a day when required! Hidde's sisters also play chess. 

Karel van Delft
Hertog van Gelre primary
school chess lesson. (c) Karel van Delft

Merijn, on his part, became the under-16 Dutch champion in 1995, five years after Karel and he "entered the world of chess starting from scratch."

Second, Karel also coordinates the Schaakacademie Apeldoorn. The academy organises classes in schools (individual plus group training courses for older, younger talented players) and groups with special needs (e.g. autism). The Chess Academy publishes a free and weekly online newsletter with many photos that give an idea of the local chess culture. In addition, there is a lot of attention to psychology and teaching. To get an idea, we recommend that you visit the newsletter link. They have been organising daily online chess activities throughout the pandemic.

Based on his experience, some of the specific topics Karel deals with in his book include:
- School chess worldwide
- Pre-school chess
- Organisation of a school chess club, youth tournament
- The role of parents
- Chess, intelligence, and teaching highly-gifted children
- Chess for the blind, partially sighted, the deaf, those with autism and dyslexia
- Girls’ and women’s chess
- Social and therapeutic chess
- Methods and teaching tips for chess educators
- Scientific research (quantitative and qualitative)
- Alphabet (with more than 300 small articles about psychological and didactical insights)

Chess Can Start at Age Two

For parents themselves new to chess, the chapter on pre-school chess is of special interest. Karel writes, "Two-year-old children can already show interest in the chessboard. This interest can be stimulated. You can give a chessboard and (coloured) pieces to infants. You can use the pieces to build small towers with the child, or place pieces neatly in the middle of a square. While doing this, you can mention the names of the pieces repeatedly. You can also put the pieces in the starting position and take turns putting the pieces somewhere – at random: a rook moves from h8 to c5 just like that. As soon as all the pieces are standing in the middle of the board, the game is ‘over’. If you use a chess clock, it’s almost like the real thing."

Tata Steel Chess 2017: Karel van Delft with GM Sipke Ernst (left). (c) Karel van Delft

Delft’s key guideline is: The basis of all training and stimulating is always Variation (methods), Fascination (intrinsic motivation) and Participation (child is actively involved).


Karel and Merijn earlier have written "Developing Chess Talent." The book covers the definition of talent in chess and the method to promote the development of this talent in those young people who have it. The book also elaborates a protocol on how to set up the teaching of chess and how to involve, each one of them in his own specific role, the various components: instructors, coaches, parents and of course the young chess players themselves.
New in Chess has just published 2,000 hours of painstaking research, analysis and counselling ideas by Karel van Delft.
But let's not do all the talking.
Karel van Delft himself is available for compact online training about chess psychology and mental training to chess educators, trainers and parents. He works with players of all levels as well. Themes to discuss are based on personal questions of the participants for example training, learning, self-management.

The training consists of two hours Zoom contact and/or e-mail about chess psychological questions (based on personal experiences and/or documentation which comes with the training).

You may contact Karel van Delft via karel@kvdc.nl.


You can purchase his book in India from www.mychessdreams.com or, internationally from New In Chess.

Once a journalist, always a journalist: NK Dutch championship journalists during Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2016. Alexander Münninghoff (left) with Karel van Delft. (c) Karel van Delft

-------- Games ----------

Game 1: Loek van wely - Karel van Delft MEC Kloksimultaan 2013 Game 2: Ruud Janssen - Karel van Delft July 2012 Game 3: SV Keep it Simply Lucas van Foreest - Karel van Delft
  



Karel van Delft Vs Lucas van Foreest (right) during the simul festival held at the Max Euwe Centre in Amsterdam. Photo: Merijn van Delft. See game above.





Note: The game comments have been auto translated from Dutch to English via Google Translate.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

True Story of Chess Kid Tani: I Believe in Miracles!

Excerpted with permission from My Name is Tani by Craig Borlase and Tanitoluwa Adewumi published by HarperCollins.

Prologue 

My name is Tani, and my family says I like to ask a lot of questions. They’re right. I like puzzles. I like riddles. I like trying to figure out why things happen and how things work.

But things have been different lately. Instead of asking the questions, I’ve been the one trying to answer them. A lot of people have wanted to know all kinds of things about me and my life. They want to know what life was like for me and how I feel about the way things have changed. They want me to tell my story, and I want to tell it, but there’s never enough time to say everything that’s in my head.

So this book is going to be my answer.

But if I’m going to tell you my story, I need to start by saying that I don’t remember much about Nigeria. I know that I was six years old when these really bad people called Boko Haram tried to kill my dad and we had to leave — but honestly, I was asleep most of the times they came looking for my dad, so you’d have to ask him about that.

What I do remember about life in Nigeria is playing soccer and my brother, Austin, trying to teach me chess and how one day I was watching the news on the TV and there was this airplane pilot on it who had just done something amazing. He was Nigerian like me, and there must have been a really serious problem with the plane because everyone was excited about the fact that he had landed safely, and everyone survived. From that moment on I wanted to be a pilot. It’s not because of money, though. Being a pilot makes you rich, but I don’t mean money rich. I liked the idea of doing something like that, to help people.

I remember a lot about life in America. Like how when we moved to New York I learned about chess properly this time and discovered that the very best players in the world are called grand masters, and so, from then on, I started to think that it might be good to be a grand master too. And then one day Coach Shawn actually took me to meet Fabiano, who is the number-two chess player in the whole world! He shook my hand and we talked, and from that moment on, I decided that I definitely wanted to be a grandmaster.

And then something happened.

I won a chess competition, and lots and lots and lots of people wanted to talk to me. It wasn’t just people from New York or even America. People from all over the world wanted to know my story. Some of them still do.

A lot of the people I have spoken to ask me about chess. They say things like how has chess changed your life? Or, what do you like most about playing chess? I mostly give them the same answer to both questions, which is chess has taught me how to do deep thinking. 

Sometimes people laugh when they hear me say that, but I don’t see how it’s very funny.

The more I think about all this, the more I know that I can’t answer either of those questions quickly. I 
need a lot more than one minute to be able to explain everything. And I don’t think I can even do it all myself because there’s so much that I don’t remember.

So the best way to tell my story is to have my parents help me. They know all the details of everything 
that’s happened, and they’re also my heroes. None of this would’ve even happened if it hadn’t been for them.

I would have asked Austin to help tell this story, too, but he likes basketball a lot more than he likes 
writing. But he’s still my hero as well.

After I won the chess tournament and spoke to all those people, life changed really quickly for all of us. 
Recently I’ve been thinking again about being a pilot. Since talking to everyone, I now know that there are a lot of places I’ve not been to, and if I was a pilot, maybe I could go see them. I could fly to China, Japan, Arizona, Washington, DC, Kentucky, Turkey, England. I want to go to these places and live there for maybe one whole year or maybe just five months. I read in a book that the average person lives to be seventy-one years old, but I think I’m not going to live the average. I think I’m going to live to be more than one hundred. So maybe I’ll do 
both—be a grand master and a pilot too. I’d like that.

I don’t know what I’m going to be. My dad says that’s okay.

But I do know this much. I believe in miracles.


Friday, May 4, 2012

New Chess Book on Bobby Fischer's Final Years in Iceland by Helgi Ólafsson

To be available soon
Our Price: Rs 1060 (only India)
Publisher: New In Chess, 2012
Edition: Paperback small
ISBN: 978-90-5691-381-6
Pages: 144
Language: English
A brand new book with fascinating insight into chess genius Bobby Fischer's final years in Iceland has been released. Grandmaster from Iceland, Helgi Ólafsson, was a good friend of the late Fischer. The book, 'Bobby Fischer comes home – The Final Years in Iceland -- a Saga of Friendship and Lost Illusions' is about several aspects of the genius chess player's life before he passed away in Reykjavík in early 2008. Ólafsson has won the Icelandic chess championship six times. He was an integral part of the struggle to get freedom for Fischer after the latter was arrested and imprisoned in Japan in 2004. Following Fischer’s bid for asylum in Iceland, he was granted full citizenship by the Icelandic Government in 2005 and consequently Ólafsson and Fischer became close. The book discusses Fischer’s career from 1970, 'Match of the Century' – the 1972 defeat of Boris Spassky, stories from several distinguished people, events from Iceland's history, etc. apart from all the chess. (Send orders to subscriptions@blackandwhiteindia.com)

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