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Conrad/Tasby/Lowe Chess Club Meeting Schedule

 

   Tue - 3:40-5:10 PM - Tasby Middle School Library

   Wed - 4:15-6:15 PM - Conrad High School - Science Lab 2-220

   Thu - 3:40-5:40 PM - Tasby Middle School Library

   Sat - 1:00-3:00 PM - Back Country Barbecue - 6940 Greenville

   Sun - 2:00-4:00 PM - Play Other Club Members From Home Online.

                                   (Sicilian 256-19 Mandatory)

                          1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6

                          5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.O-O O-O

 

Immediate Priorities - 9/27/2016-10/01/2016

 

1. Correct errors in our chess club roster

 

2. Play at least three games/week on ChessTempo, and upload each game to OneDrive.

 

3. Learn about SCID vs Pc and ChessTempo strategy problems.

 

4. Correctly solve two ChessTempo strategy problems each day (10/week).

 

How To Upload Online ChessTempo Games to Onedrive (using Firefox):

 

Click > Chess Database > My Chess Games.

 

In the View Column, click the right hand icon [View game] for your selected game.

 

Below the AN window, click the second icon [Download game PGN].

 

Then select [Save File] and click [OK] to generate and download a clean pgn file that shows the player names in the title, e.g: ct-ct.ryan-ct.jerry-1474680064.pgn

 

Click the blue down-arrow and click [Show All Downloads] to open your DOWNLOADS window. The top file in that window is the latest file that you have downloaded. Do not close this window.

 

On a separate tab, go to onedrive.com and sign in with username: jerry@sbranch.org - password: Tasbychess1

 

Resize this ONEDRIVE window to show it and the DOWNLOADS window side-by-side on your screen.

 

Drag or copy the pgn file from your DOWNLOADS window into the ONEDRIVE window.

 

Your pgn file will upload to onedrive.com in a few seconds. You should see it if you refresh the ONEDRIVE window.

 

ChessTempo Strategy Problems

 

ChessTempo is a well designed website that we will use extensively. We will be playing a lot of games against each other to improve our playing skills on the ChessTempo website. ChessTempo also has a database of about more than 30,000 graded standard tactics problems that will teach you how to determine best chess moves. As you work standard tactics problems, ChessTempo adjusts your problem difficulty to match your tactical expertise. Then as you progress, ChessTempo will gradually increases your problem difficulty as you attain higher performance levels. You will generally need to work carefully enough to get about 80 percent of your assigned problems correct. Wild guesses seldom work. On average, wrong answers reduce your rating 3-4 times as much as right answers help your rating. If you work fast and carelessly, you will be correct on less than 80 percent, and your rating will trend negative instead of positive. I have assembled a number of problems (in database file chesstempo.pgn) that some of us have encountered as we have worked with these tactics problems, and I will discuss five sample problems today (if time permits) to give you an idea how to utilize ChessTempo efficiently.

 

A basic subscription to ChessTempo is free. It allows you to solve an unlimited number of standard tactics problems to continuously improve your rating. To attain a standard tactics rating above 1200, you will probably have to work several problems per week for a while. Vung H has a rating above 1100. Per M, who now attends another school, has a rating above 1200. My rating is above 1300. Mohammad F has a rating above 1400. I cannot see the ratings of chess club students unless they have a gold subscription, which costs $17 per year (if I purchase the subscription at half price). I purchased several gold subscriptions for students last year. Only three students used the membership regularly, so I am unwilling to do that again this year.

 

Objective

 

SBRanch.org is a resource website available to the general public. However, it is maintained primarily for use by the Dallas (DISD) Conrad, Lowe, and Tasby academic chess clubs in Dallas, Texas.

 

Our primary Chess Club objective is to learn to play excellent chess and to participate competitively in regular local district-wide chess tournaments on team and individual levels. Our immediate goals include playing and uploading (to our OneDrive depository)at least three games each week against other Chess Club members For those games, we agree to use a standardized 8-move Sicilian Najdorf Opening (MCO-14 p. 256, col. 19). This opening facilitates a solid mid-game entry to enable us to develop our tactical skills.

 

All Chess Club members enjoy free access to chesstempo.com, a website where we can play against each other online and where we also have the opportunity to work on tactical problems to develop our chess playing skills. Each member should strive to do at least ten tactical problems per week. Member who are unwilling to participate in this training program may be subject to dismissal from Chess Club.

 

We strive to continuously improve our playing skills. Students who insist on doing otherwise will be dismissed from the club at the discretion of the Chess Coach and Staff and will not be readmitted without appropriate Staff consent. There is no time for idle conversation or any other activity during any club session. Cell phone use for any non-chess-related purpose during Chess Club is prohibited. Computer use for anything other than supervised chess activity is also prohibited. Any player who fails to demonstrate appropriate progress in playing chess or who is disruptive in any way will be dismissed from Chess Club.

 

In many respects Chess Club is similar to a college-level academic course. Material must be learned quickly: new words, new rules, practically a new language. Chess helps us to learn to think more quickly and clearly. Studies have shown that chess players tend to maintain better grades than the general student population. It is arguable whether chess makes better students or if it is simply that better students migrate into chess. Both factors probably interplay. I suspect that the game itself helps any student perform better in all of his/her academic pursuits.

 

If your parents or relatives play chess, many of you will probably be able to play as well or better than they can play very soon. My past experience also suggests that many of you will be beating your coaches pretty consistently within the school year if you pursue the game seriously. There is no luck in chess. You and your opponent both start out with even odds, and whoever plays the best game will win. The more you play, the better you will become. And playing against a stronger player is the best path to improvement.

 

At the beginning of the school year some new members will likely not be even romotely familiar with the game. So for the first few weeks, our more experienced players will have to be patient while we work to get everyone up to speed. Advanced players will need to help the beginners learn the rules and concepts that go into becoming a good chess player. Some of you may think you already know how to play the game, but many times even 'experienced' players find that they have 'learned' some things that are contrary to the real rules. We will play by the official rules that evolved about 500 years ago. The rules have changed only slightly since then. If you pay attention to what is going on, you will quickly become a knowledgeable player, and we won't have any disagreement about the rules of the game.

 

We will start out by learning 'how to move the pieces', and 'how to talk, think, and write in Algebraic Notation (AN). We will learn the concepts of checkmate and stalemate. Our first lessons will emphasize the end of the game - not the beginning. We will study practically every way there is to checkmate an opponent, and we will study some of the traps that can lead to stalemate or loss. We will learn a few basic checkmates. We will learn how to set up and start a game properly.

 

Within a week or so every student will be able to read a chess book and understand what it says. Many 'experienced' chess players cannot do that. It's quite easy to learn the rules that specify 'how to move the pieces'. But we are going further than that; we are going to learn 'how to play chess'.

 

Chess will entertain you, but more importantly, it will help you develop your brain for the rest of your life. The game may also open up scholastic and career opportunities for you that you cannot even imagine. So hang in there and pay attention for a few weeks while we prepare for a great roller coaster ride in the coming school year, a ride that you may continue to enjoy for the rest of your life.

 

Sign in at the beginning of each session. Then, unless otherwise instructed, proceed directly to play against other Chess Club members. We will record every move in Algebraic Notation (AN), and we begin to 'speak AN' from day one. This new language will soon become second nature.

 

Written scoresheets will be used frequently. The Chess Coach will periodically review those scoresheets to insure that all players are writing their moves in proper and legible AN. Fill in both player names and the date each time you record a game, and submit a OneDrive validation record for each club game that you play.

 

Make every effort to attend each club session. If you need to miss a session, you will have to assume the responsibility to catch up and keep pace with the rest of the club members.

 

At the conclusion of each session, any game in progress should be suspended, and the game should be recorded appropriately so that it can be resumed at a later date. Put the chess pieces back into their storage containers. Stack the boards upside down so that a Chess Coach or a designated assistant can store them properly.

 

Portions of our club sessions will be devoted to instruction and discussion independent from actually playing chess against an opponent. It is very important to pay attention and to participate in these discussions that are designed to help you and your club mates learn and improve your game. All club members are encouraged to play additional games against each other on chesstempo.com outside scheduled meeting hours. Such games may be submitted for playing credit, just like the games during regular meetings.

 

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