Frequently Asked Questions
Should you have any additional questions please do not hesitate to contact us, we will be happy to answer!
Parents first Questions
5-8 is the best age to start.
At least once a week to maintain his/her interest in chess and his/her familiarity with chess moves. Twice a week will be better for making progress. If the child is serious about chess, 3-5 times a week is ideal. This can be a combination of private lessons, group lessons, and club tournaments.
As much as possible. If nobody is available at home, he/she should play online. He/she should work on chess everyday!
For a little child, ChessKid.com is recommended because of its built-in safety control and simple interface. If your child is my student and would like to have a free account, please email me. For older children, they can play on chess.com, ICC, playchess.com, FICS or directly from our website.
YES. This is one of the reasons why today's kids are making much faster progress than previous generations. At Chess Queen Academy, we are encouraging students to play online, and incorporating chess software in our Beginner II and up classes. Without computer, your children will not get enough practices, and will not progress at the full speed to their potential. Slow progress may also discourage a child and lead to his/her quit. At CQA, we want to push your children to the advanced level as fast as possible so they may sustain by themselves and enjoy chess for life.
Depends. If your child is mature and active learner, online lesson will be good because of saving of travel time, money, and easiness of recording the lessons. If your child is young, such as K-3, face-to-face is preferred because of the interactions. The coach can get feedback immediately and adjust his/her teaching pace and contents. The rapport between the coach and the student also help motivate the student to work hard.
If possible, choose a local coach (driving distance less than one hour), for easy access and flexibility. If not, pick one online. Even teaching online, you should try to meet the coach once so the child can feel he/she is real. The most important consideration is that the coach and the student can work together in a pleasant learning mode. If the student is not happy, then he/she will never learn much from the coach. The coach should be rated at least 500 points above the student, preferably an active tournament player. Be cautious with most popular coaches. They may have too many students and are too busy. Your child will be just a number or a dot on their list, Unless your child is an outstanding one, they will not remember him/her much, and will not spend effort to guide him/her in a customized approach.
Raitings & Tournaments
The English Chess Federation (ECF) uses a Rating system to gauge relative player strength. These ratings often are used to pair players appropriately at tournaments. Ratings also can be used to set section floors or caps (e.g., a section may be limited to players Rated Under 1399, or Over). Section Rating limits help ensure children play other children within what is deemed an appropriate range of current playing ability. A player’s Rating climbs with every tournament win, and falls with every loss. The higher the rating, the more advanced the player. Ratings also are impacted by an opponent’s strength.
Yes. Each player needs one adult who is responsible for them at the tournaments. The tournament directors cannot watch your children between rounds and children should not disturb other players or their families. An adult presence helps keep noise to a minimum and helps ensure the child has a safe presence between the round.
In order to play in a rated section at a tournament, your child will need a ECF Membership and ID number. There is no hurry to receive a rating. Each child will have the best experience in the section appropriate for his/her development and ability. When you sign your child up for a rated section for the first time, please enter “0” or “Unrated” or “new” in the box asking for a rating. Your child will receive an initial rating after the tournament results have been submitted to the ECF.
When your child asks to play in a tournament, it’s probably time! Perhaps your child is inspired to play by a sibling or a classmate. You also can let them know about the tournaments and that it is an option for them. The basic requirements to play are: Know what the chess pieces are and how they move around the board. Understand how to play a basic game (or at get through most of it – the end game can be confusing to students who most appropriately play in No Score). To play in a Novice section, children should know how to win, lose, or draw a game (be able to identify checkmate).
The crucial rules of a tournament are: Touch Move: If a player intentionally touches a piece on the board when it is their turn to move, then they must move that piece if it is legal to do so. Chess Notation: In higher rated sections, each player is required to notate, or write down the moves in each chess game. Clocks & Time: In rated sections where clocks are used, once a player has run out of his/her allotted time, his/her opponent wins by default. Conclusion of Game: Once the game concludes, each player should raise their hand and a Tournament Director will come to the game and record the result.
One of our program goals is to help children learn how to win and loose with grace and perspective. Parent support is critical to achieve this, and parent/coach communication goes a long way to ensuring your child has a positive experience. When your child finishes a round, he/she may have big feelings regardless of the outcome. Try to appear relaxed, and rather than ask your child about the outcome, or emphasize it once they report it to you, consider asking a different question. Some examples are: Did you have fun? What was the best part of your game? Did you learn anything new? If you child had a specific goal, focus on that (e.g., How far did you get with your Black opening?). Remember to praise the child’s effort. Once your child address the outcome – If it was a win, again praise their effort and hard work to achieve the win. If it was a draw, stalemate or loss, ask them what they would do differently next time? Let them know that it may not feel good to lose, but that even the best players in the world loose games, and they learn from those experiences and that is how they improve. Emphasize the next round or tournament is a fresh start, and hug as needed!
Trophies at our scholastic tournaments presently are awarded to 1st through 10th place. For children with the same number of wins and losses, a tie-break system is used (recommended by the English Chess Federation). The tie-break system is an algorithm that takes into account the comparative play levels of the ties players’ opponents, as well as a number of other factors.