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Play chess with your child

Play chess with your child

5 to 8 years
Activity picture for Play chess with your child in Wachanga

Chess is an excellent game for kids. It teaches them strategic thinking, logic and it's fun, too!

Every game of chess has its own story. Some are long-drawn out strategic affairs; others can be quick, but complicated, tactical battles. The winner is the player who can out-think his or her opponent, and make the best plans for attack and defence.

Chess is one of the oldest games in the world. Though no one knows for sure, it was probably invented in India more than a thousand years ago . If you have a chess set, or decide to make your own, here are the rules you need to play the game.

What you need: A chessboard and pieces

Aim of the game: The aim of the game is to use your army to capture the enemy king.

The armies: There is a White army and a Black army. 

Both armies have the same pieces. These are:

  • The King is the most important piece in the army. If he is captured, the game is lost. 1 square in any direction (forward, back, across or diagonally)
  • The Queen. The Queen is the most powerful piece. Any number of squares in any direction
  • Castles. Castles are strong pieces which are good both at attacking the enemy and defending the King. Sometimes the Castle is called a ‘Rook’. Any number of squares forward, back or across (but not diagonally)
  • Bishops. Bishops are good at attacking late on in the game. Because they move diagonally, they always stay on the same colour square that they started on. Any number of square diagonally
  • Knights. Knights are at their best when there are lots of pieces on the board, and they can use their ability to jump over other pieces. ‘L shaped’ – two squares forward (or back) and one square across; or two squares across and one square forward (or back). The Knight can jump over other pieces while doing this
  • Pawns. Pawns are the foot soldiers in the army. They gradually advance on the opposing army, but also need to defend the King. Usually one square forward. If it is capturing an opposing piece, however, it moves one square forward diagonally. Each pawn may move two squares forward the first time it moves. If it does, it cannot capture in the same move. Pawns can never move backwards.

You need two players. Decide who will be White and who will be Black.

Set up the board so you have a white square on the corner of the board by your right hand. Then place the armies on the board and start your battle!

Activity picture for Play chess with your child in Wachanga

Tips and Hints:

  • Start off by using your central Pawns to try to control the middle of the board.
  • Use your other Pawns to defend the central Pawns and each other.
  • Move your Knights and Bishops out from the back row early on (this is called ‘developing your pieces’ and means you are using the full strength of your army).
  • Be cautious with your Queen at the start – try not to waste time moving her away from enemy attacks.
  • Try to keep your King defended by your Pawns (castling is a good way to do this).

Make a photo of your kid playing chess and upload to the App. Write briefly about your and your kid's impressions! Was it easy for you to explain the rules? Has your kid understood them?

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