07 December 2011

Problems of the Week

Working with pins

Although these four problems seem rather elementary to me, the second graders found them challenging yesterday. Today, I'll give them to some middle school students in a chess class for home school students, and to an after school chess club at another elementary school. The older students where the second graders had trouble get their crack on Thursday. On Saturday, players from these schools, as well as others, meet in a youth tournament. Perhaps some of them will do more with pins this weekend.

My procedure this week is a bit different than the norm. Usually, I have one problem on the demonstration board. The entire club gathers to discuss the position, which can mean as many as thirty young players suggesting the first move that looks right. This week, I printed sheets with all four problems, and the players work in teams trying to solve all four before another team does so. I asked the five strongest second graders on Tuesday to each work with a first grader or kindergartner as a teammate. With an abundance of help from me, including using the demo board to give everyone answers to the first two, one second grader finally had four correct answers written on his sheet.

White to move

Black to move

White to move

White to move

A key concept for working with pins is piling on. This technique is particularly apparent, it seems to me, in the second problem. All of these problems exploit the vulnerability of a king.

No comments:

Post a Comment