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Showing posts with label karel van delft. Show all posts
Showing posts with label karel van delft. 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.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

‘Developing Chess Talent’ ebook

Here's a special chess book in electronic format as well. ‘Developing Chess Talent’, comprising 256 pages, discusses creating a chess culture, coaching, training, organization and communication. Also included in this title are interviews with grandmasters David Bronstein and Jan Timman, as well as plenty of helpful and practical information. Authors of the book are Dutch psychologists and chess trainers Karel van Delft and IM Merijn van Delft. The book includes a foreword by GM Artur Yusupov with whom they have been collaborating for many years.

The ebook is available in pdf format. It can be accessed by e-reader, PC, tablet and smartphone. Cost of the ebook is 6 euro. It can be ordered via PayPal or bank transfer. The book is recommended for chess trainers by the FIDE Trainers Commission.

For more information and a downloadable preview, visit the website www.chesstalent.com. Also available at the website is a video of IM Merijn van Delft presenting the book in the Max Euwe Centrum in Amsterdam. 



Other free items available at the website include 32 training videos of IM Mark Dvoretsky and GM Artur Yusupov as well as articles about chess and nutrition, chess in primary schools, and the Chess Karate Kid sheets.

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