Monday, August 2, 2010

Pre-Chess for Kids, Playing With Pawns

We played a pre-chess sort of game today, to learn how pawns move, in the game of chess, improving our math skills at the same time. Click, here, to read an article from, detailing the link between the two.

The game, which we made out of cereal box cardboard, is our version of one from Learn to Play Chess With Fritz and Chesster - a computer game teaching chess through a series of games, that look nothing like chess.

The children pulled it out, and started playing it again, after I checked out Harvey Kidder's The Kids' Book of Chess, recommended by All Things Beautiful (they ended up playing a pre-chess game involving pawns, and the king, which you might want to check out, too).

We started by making a game board, divided into 32, one inch, squares - 4 across, and 8 down. We colored the four squares on each end, to make finish lines.

Each player has four pawns. I was going to use our chess pawns, but my oldest daughter wanted to make her own, to look more like the ones from Fritz and Chesster, and I wasn't about to object to a spontaneous craft project.

The pawns are lined up facing each other, on the rows in front of the finish lines.

Players take turns moving their pawns forward, one square at a time.

The first time a pawn is moved, it can be moved forward two squares, but after that, only one square at a time, again.

Pawns always move straight forward, except to attack another pawn, and then they move forward, one square, diagonally, knocking the opponents pawn off the board.

The first person to get one of their pawns across the opposite finish line wins.

Oh, and in case you are near to the finish line, and your opponent moves two spaces forward, you can knock him off the board by moving into the space he would have occupied if he had only moved one square forward. This is called "en passant".

For more fun with math, and math related games for children, check out Joyful Learner's Math Monday link-up.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Kylie said...

Thank you for this. We have a chess set (that I know nothing about) what a great introductiong :-)

Ticia said...

Interesting different idea. I was thinking about All Thing's Beautiful's chess for beginners, and this is another one we might be able to try a little.

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

Interesting idea. I have never given a thought of any pre-chess. As far as I recall, my grandfather just showed me one day how the pieces move, and we were off to races. But, I have never been really good at chess, I prefer checkers.

Julie said...

Interesting way to introduce the concept of chess. I will say that I've never learned how to play chess myself, but my husband has and I'm sure he'll want to teach the kids someday.

Brimful Curiosities said...

I was just thinking about chess the other day and wondering how my father managed to teach me and how old I was when I learned. We used to play quite often.

Christy Killoran said...

I have no idea how to play chess. I guess I am in need of these pre-chess items!

Phyllis said...

I love the small board! Great idea.

Joyful Learner said...

I love the idea of introducing pawns first until they get used to playing with them and then maybe slowly introduce the knights, etc.? I don't think I've ever seen the last move but I still have much to learn about chess. Thanks for sharing a cool game!