Chess is a Sunday Game night pastime which my daughter started to like while playing with a travel sized magnetic chessboard. Fed up with playing Snakes and Ladders, she asked about chess and I started teaching her the pieces and their moves little by little.

She took more interest when she started winning against me and her dad.  So I took her to a Chess Clinic I organized with a few officemates. She loved playing against other kids and called it –a battle, like a medieval re-enactment happening on the flat surface of a chess board.


Playing with a friend at the Chess Clinic


Travel Sized Magnetic Chess Board that fits in the palm of your hand

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In the Chess Clinic with Mr. Romel Flores, they discussed the pieces and how they differ from each other, moves of the different pieces, and strategies that my daughter loved like controlling the center and castling. After a few months, I also enrolled her in her school’s Chess Club so she had a chance to socialize after homeschooling hours. Her Chess Club met every Wednesday and her teacher was amazed at her growing interest in playing Chess.



2 on 2, guess who was winning…



Playing Chess Strategy games that her Chess Clinic instructor gave her


A good guide I found online –  also summarizes her favorite stategies that she would use while playing, sometimes I would just teach her to not be predictable in her moves, but that’s something she can learn as she learns to play with more seasoned chess players. She can just have fun for now.


Some of her favorite Chess phrases:



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The rules of Castling are simple, it needs to be the first move for your King And Rook during the game, else you cannot perform castling. The king should also be in a safe position and not in check before castling.

Castling is when you move the rook or the tower and place the king “inside the castle” by moving the rook from the corner to the more exposed part of the board in the center. Refer to the GIF to see how castling is done.


Control the Center


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As one of the phrases she remembers from her lessons, she makes sure to move her pawn in the middle first to make sure she “controls the center”. Keeping this in mind, her moves become predictable somehow but I’m sure she will figure it out little by little.


The King is “Priceless”


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She keeps tabs on her and her  opponent’s scores during the game and by doing so, she knows which pieces she can let go of strategically. Her Chess Clinic instructor said before “not to keep eating and eating” but also make sure that she keeps in mind the equivalent score of the piece she will “eat” because a move might mean exposing a weak part on the board to your opponent.


Don’t Forget to have Fun

I keep asking her after her Chess club meets,

Did anyone talk to you?     No.

Did you “battle”?                 Yes.

Did you win?                      No.

Did you have fun?             Yes.

I think she will have more fun if she has friends her age who are into Chess like she is. Hopefully the next Chess clinic or Chess club will help her meet more Chess buddies.

I’ll keep taking her until she gets tired of it and moves on to the next thing, IF she decides to move on to something else.



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