jueves, 26 de septiembre de 2019

Welcome back

Next activity will be the first of our third season.

I'd like to thank to everyone who is involved in this project and those interested in taking advantage of our favourite game in the schools. We still think there are many advantages in applying it in the classroom.

This season we have some novelties as our new character "lug" and to recycle all activities in the idea of let you to solve or to enjoy with activities that were created long time ago (We are 6 years old already) and maybe you were not in Primary education or not involved with this project.

We are going to start with some activities, as usual one for beginners and the other for a little more advanced level.

Now it is time for waiting just a few days to start over new

lunes, 3 de junio de 2019

Visit to Mr. Leontxo García

Hello everyone

It has been a great great weekend for me and I wanted to share it with all of you

Mr Leontxo García has been in a lecture in Alfaro

The Chess Club in Alfaro (here you are the link) invited him to celebrate their 25th anniversary and he made a wonderful speech about how useful is Chess

If you want to enjoy a great time you can watch this video
(it is in Spanish)

Talking about how interesting can be chess game for many things in life and in education particularly.

I hope somebody takes into account some of his valuable advices.

See you soon

miércoles, 22 de mayo de 2019

We close the season with some "Openings"

This is something we have never talked before.

There are three stages in the chess game: the opening, the middle game, and the endgame. Each phase has different strategic concerns, and must be approached in a different way.

The opening in chess covers the first 10 to 15 moves of the game, in which both players are moving their pieces from their starting positions to take up active posts ready to do battle in the middle game. Because the opening always starts from the same position, a large number of possibilities and theories have been set over the years. Many chess openings have their own names, such as the Queen's Gambit or Sicilian Defence. You don't need to know what the openings are called to get started in chess, though but anyway you have to start your game and if possible with an extra help or advantage can improve your chess game.

Below is an example of the opening phase:

If we start the game with white pieces, I recommend to start e-4, very typical and safe.

If you want to start the game you should pay attention to the possibilities of develop your game.

  • Let go out the bishops
  • Use your Knights to avoid the checkmate of the shepherd.
  • And finally the Rooks.
These are the so called minor pieces (Bishops and Knights) and then the mayor pieces (Rooks and the Queen). We should put into the game these pieces right at the beginning of the game, I mean, not only one bishop or one knight but all of them, they have more possible moves placed in central squares than in the sides or in the corners.

For getting moved the 2 bishops and the 2 knights the sooner we cannot waste our time moving twice the same piece

Can be a good idea to use the castling

When is it possible?

None of the pieces involved in castling may have been moved previously during the game. There must be no part between the king and the tower; The king can not be in check, nor can he pass through squares that are under attack by the enemy pieces.


Great question, one of the most important ones. because many people kids and beginners have only a little idea about what we aim at the start of the game or after very few moves. Then we have a new "plan" each turn because our opponent has changed the initial idea we had about his/her moves.

Here you are the SOLUTION:

Get your pieces into action quickly and effectively.

Now it is time for the Challenges:

Challenge #1: For a kind of "warming up" let's solve this Checkmate in just One move. Send me your creative solutions, drawings, videos,  photos... Whatever. I can help you with some difficulties or mistakes.

*Clue: when there is a promotion; not always doing it to the queen is the best solution.

Challenge #2:
For the second Challenge I was thinking about making a video or images or... You know, I do know you can be really creative with some openings, your favorites ones:

Here you are a couple of examples:

Can you guess what is the name (English or Spanish) for the next two openings:

  • 1.- What is the name of this opening?

Clue: It is one of the oldest openings and his author was a Spanish Priest from the XVI century.
It is also called "Spanish Game" the ????? is one of the most popular openings: 

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5

The white Bishop on b-5 puts pressure on the Knight which is guarding the center. Whites can castle very soon and can attack for a long time over blacks.
Advantages: it leads to several attacks over many pieces, tends to give long-term pressure and white develops very quickly and castles.
Disadvantages: Some lines are very theoretical more than practical, black has a huge number of defenses because its popularity, blacks can attack the light squared bishop.
  • 2.- What is the name of this defense?

Watch the video and make a comment if you want.

Clue: It is related to a big island in the Mediterranean sea.

The ???? is one of the best answers to the opening e4. Black takes control of the d4 square with a pawn from the side - thus this answer imbalances the game and avoids giving the control of the central squares to the Whites.

  • Advantages: Imbalance of the game. Gives the blacks good options for attacking, it is a good answer when blacks play for a win.
  • Disadvantages: It is very well known, there is a lot of theory about it, and whites have many options for attacking.

And... That's all folks!!!
This has been the last post of the season I DO hope to see you next course, enjoy with Chess and have a wonderful summer.

You can send me your comments and suggestions for the next season.

As usual you don't have to answer all of them if anyone is too difficult, just try and enjoy.

I will give the solutions as soon as the next activity is posted and you can participate by e-mail (explorajake@gmail.com), twitter (@ProfesorJake) or whatsapp (682336170)

jueves, 9 de mayo de 2019

MIstakes are good

As many times as you try something, the right one is always the last one.

SO please🙏

Don’t give up! And try it one more time.
Quite often we think a mistake is something really bad we have to avoid and regret and forget.
Right the opposite

Mistakes are good and they can be even more useful than those RIGHT decisions, answers…

All we have those moments UPS!! I did it wrong
All chess players have made hundreds of mistakes (we are not computers fortunately) and suffered lots of losses on our way to improve our game.
Instead of throwing away that mistakes and getting angry, take up the challenge and learn from EVERY game you play (wins and losses).

As a teacher and Chess Coach I have search for help and I found a list of useful ways for every individual student to deal with her/his games, even in tournaments. In this activity my good friend “Profesora Feli” has helped me a lot:

5 tips to learn from your mistakes

1.   Ⅰ Attitude: be positive before, during and after the tournament (game or even life). It is easy to be happy about those wins, but focus on embracing (ACCEPT) those loses as lessons that will teach you on your road to improvement.
      Ⅱ Quick notes: after a hard loss, write down some quick notes on a piece of paper telling “what were you thinking about during the game, why do you think you lose the game, and the biggest mistake you think you committed.
       Review: once a little time has passed and have had time to reflect try to repeat the game in order to maximize your learning and reinforce your analysis skills (try to do it in a chessboard not on your computer.
4.     Coach: try to ask another friend, teacher, relative… The idea is to find out another perspective from other point of view.
5.     Move on: don’t punish too much yourself. Once you have learned and what your mistakes were move on.

NOW It is time for your answers and (why not) mistakes in

 these Challenges.

In these activities you can send me the solution with these two exercises (not very difficult) you can find Checkmate in just one move (each).

Challenge #1

Let's go with the first one
In this fist exercise you can notice there is a pawn protecting its King... but if you pay attention that pawn 

Challenge #2

... and the second one:
This exercise shows us how to play with our Bishops. Think it diagonally... move them  in order to find out the checkmate in one move.

As usual you don't have to answer all of them if anyone is too difficult, just try and enjoy.

I will give the solutions as soon as the next activity is posted and you can participate by e-mail (explorajake@gmail.com), twitter (@ProfesorJake) or whatsapp (682336170)

jueves, 28 de marzo de 2019

Double Attack

Hello everybody

This is Profesor Jake and welcome everyone to your favourite post.

This time we are going to explain the Double Threat.

If you leave this blog you are going to lose all your games.

If you leave this blog you are going to be boring
This is a double threat.

There are three typical cases where double threats take place.

We are going to review them and then you can solve the challenges bellow.

Watch next video and then you can solve the Challenges

Challenge 1
Find how to make a Pawn Fork with White pieces.
Which pieces can your Pawn capture?
What was the mistake from the Black pieces?

Challenge 2
Where has to move the White Knight in order to play a Double Attack?
Which pieces can capture that Knight?

Challenge 3
You play with black pieces...
How can you capture the white Bishop without any risk for your pieces?

Remember you can send your answers to me and I will correct them as soon as possible

You don't have to answer all of them if anyone is too difficult, just try and enjoy.

I will give the solutions as soon as the next activity is posted and you can participate by e-mail (explorajake@gmail.com), twitter (@ProfesorJake) or whatsapp (682336170)

I wait for you

jueves, 14 de marzo de 2019

9th The Pawns Those "Little Guys"

Welcome back to a new post on your favourite blog.

These weeks we are going to work on...

Those little guys.

We want to demystify the pawns. You get eight of these small but tricky guys so you'd better use them well!

Their name means something related to farmers, to workmen, and despite their little moves, and their little power, there are 8 of them so their power comes when they work together.

As all we know pawns move one by one each turn (except at the beginning they can move 2 squares at a time).
Just a little extra data: this 2 moves at the beginning, only from lines 2 (for white pawns) and 7 (for the black ones) comes from the beginning of the modern Chess and from the country that spread Chess all around the world: Spain. Yes my friends the country that introduced chess in Europe, and therefore popularized and universalized.

Quite often we do not value the good things that have been done in this country.

The only different move they can do is when they capture other piece, they capture one square diagonally.

But their most common position is to be stuck. When any piece of their team or not is in front of them they cannot move anymore, till their way is free.
Pawns can never go backwards.

Promotion: pawns are the only piece can promote when reaching the opposite line 1 (for black pawns) or 8 (for white ones). He can become into a Queen, a Knight, a Bishop or a Rook, never into a King.

When promoting the pawn moves one square forward, not like capturing. That is that the front square has to be empty.


Too much theory?

Ok Let's go ahead with the CHALLENGES:

Last week challenge was a little hard cause the pronunciation of our friend in New York City at the Marshal Chess Club was in a strong American accent; so this time there are extra challenges and you can participate in as many as you wish, remember be creative, draw, paint, use a smartphone, a tablet, a computer, laptop... or any means you prefer.

#1) The white  king is almost in checkmate, but in this case a black pawn is missing. Can you draw, put or whatever it?
I'm sure you can ;)

#2) The white  king is almost in stalemate (a draw as we know), but if you add somewhere a black pawn... Can you draw one to solve this problem?
one more?

#3) The white  king is almost in checkmate, but a black pawn is missing. Can you draw, put or whatever it?
still one more???

#4) Let's go with the last one. For it I give you a tip: if a King stands to the side of its pawns, it can protect it as it moves towards PROMOTION.
To answer this challenge you have to move one of the white pieces in order to get the PROMOTION of the white Pawn. So... Which is the next move for the whites?

SEE YOU SOON and don't forget to tell your friends.

The Rook Rocks