On Thursday, January 17th Premier Chess CEO Evan Rabin taught 29 students at the Alaska Native Cultural Charter School Chess Club through a 1-hour Skype lesson. Here is the feedback of Drea Farrell, the school’s coach:
The session with you has been truly eye opening and inspiring for the players. Chess notation is still a struggle but they understand the purpose of it and are doing it (not well yet but they are trying). They are able to play through a famous using only the notation now. That’s huge for us. They look at the moves now and wonder why these famous players played the games this way. Usually, the answer reveals itself a few moves later. Out of the whole session the Q&A was the most inspirational for them.
Martin Karmun, a fifth grader, has really taken the things you said in our session to heart and has started putting them to practice. His younger is his most readily available opponent for him; so it has also affected her strategy. They are so talented. Having a ‘real life’ Master of Chess take time to speak to them about strategy, process, and chess notation was powerful.
The session with you showed them how large the Chess community is nationally; competitively. It gave them a perspective they could internalize. They related to you because of your age. Your history with Chess is one they can make their own. That stuck. It inspired a whole new goal to be achieved. Heck! You’re a ‘Chesslibrity’.
As a coach, the session provided me with a new tool. An incredible valid tool. The thought process has forced the students to look at the board. They now look at the board from a perspective of what might my opponent do today, or tomorrow. They are very attuned to each other’s patterns of play. The thought process has encouraged them to think not only about what their opponent might do but how their day may affect their pattern of play.
I am not that great a player but I know their patterns of play. The thought process has empowered me to be the coach that says,’Before you touch that ____ and move it to attack my ___, think about the fact that I have already anticipated your next move 2 moves ago.’ It’s like a magic trick!! They are amazed that I am using the thought process in this way.
Some of my more obstinate arrogant players have been taken down a peg by lower level players because the games they are playing now are taking longer. Their opponents are thinking, anticipating, and strategizing in ways they are not used to. Sportsmanship has. been a topic we have has to revisit since your session. That’s ok. Sportsmanship is the foundation of our club. Arrogance is like a weed it will take if new measures aren’t applied to keep it at bay.
Overall, our session with you has inspired to learn more, set more goals, and become better students of Chess.