This posting is Part Two of my review of J. Bosch & S. Giddins (Eds.), The chess instructor 2009. Alkmaar, The Netherlands: New in Chess. Part One was posted on Monday, November 2nd. On November 2nd, I reviewed Van Wijgerden’s chapter, one of sixteen in The Chess Instructor 2009. Ten of the chapters are about training players who have lots of tournament experience and, in some cases, already have FIDE titles.
The remaining six chapters, including Van Wijgerden’s, have tips, problems, book recommendations, and insights useful for those working with low-rated tournament players or chess beginners. In my opinion, more chapters should be devoted to training these less-experienced players. As noted in my books Children and Chess: A Guide for Educators and Science, Math, Checkmate: 32 Chess Activities for Inquiry and Problem Solving, many K-12 students in the U.S. play chess casually. And most scholastic chess tournament players are rated below 1000. Here are some strengths of every chapter: 1) Biography and photo of the author;2) With a couple of exceptions, each author tells his or her favorite chess books for teaching and why those books are favorites.3) Nicely-formatted book: Easy to read font, plenty of white space for readability, black-and-white-photos, and figurine algebraic notation. Here are some suggestions for improving the book. Since a Chess Instructor book is planned for every year, I hope to see these changes in The Chess Instructor 2010:1) In the current book, the organization of the chapters seems random. I would like chapters to be organized by strength of the students being trained. In other words, Part I of could be chapters for trainers of students rated 0-1000; Part Two could be for trainers of students rated 1000-1800; and Part III for trainers of students rated 1800 and higher. If my formulation of Parts I-III is adopted for The Chess Instructor 2010, then I also recommend that each part should have approximately equal numbers of chapters. Then there would be more material for those of us who teach non-elite chess students.2) Chess diagrams should indicate who is to move (white or black) and have algebraic notation around the borders.3) The glossary should include all technical terms introduced in the text.4) Americanization of terms would be helpful, for example “educator” not “educationalist.” Next blog I will review another chapter from The Chess Instructor 2009.
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