At Chess Mates we don’t really mind whether our students grow up to be Grandmasters or not, but there are a few things our lessons, stories, and games are aimed at teaching.
1. Change – Most of our lessons are focused on teaching the students that change can be ok, for example our favourite king, King Sparky, has to learn how to be ok with change. We also teach this by rotating through different activities and chess partners, having the students play games they’ve never played and play chess with people they don’t know is a great way to learn new things and meet new people.
2. Friendship – One of our main focuses is on being a good friend and making new friends, hence the name Chess Mates. We have a special story about a brave dog named Paddington that we tell in order to show what being a good friend can be. We encourage light talking and teamwork in our classes so that children can get to know each other as well.
3. Winning and Losing – One of the favorite games that we have the students play is called ‘Take-me Chess’ where children have to try and get all of their pieces taken so that they get used to it and it makes them ok with losing some of their pieces in a normal game of chess. We also tell them to shake hands and say good game whether they win or lose.
Everything we teach in our classes we hope that our students are able to apply outside of chess, because knowing how to play chess is less important than having friends to play chess with.