For the Integrating Chess and Critical Thinking Class, I require a grandmaster project. This is the third quarter that Tyler Avila has taken the class and it would be the third grandmaster project for Tyler. But, Tyler asked me if he could prepare for a simul with the class as an alternative. Being a responsive teacher and desiring students that take control of their education, I couldn't refuse. A simul is a tournament where one player simultaneously plays a number of players at the same time. Grandmasters typically play these exhibitions to demonstrate their chess prowess and skills.
In fact, I wish more students did this type of reflection on their education. Megan Jones avoids my workbook problems like the plague, but she finally shared with me that she completes the Gameknot.com problems of the day, almost every day. Since the class started she completed 81 problems! She is a senior and now hooked on chess and I found out that she plays OTB and on the computer nearly every day, now. Her game has greatly improved since she started with this class, so I offered to use these problems in lieu of the workbook credit. Isn't this what education is all about? Helping students discover something new and then allowing them the opportunity level up in a variety of ways?
Tyler studied some books, watched videos, and played an enormous amount of blitz chess in preparation for Tuesdays simul. He arrived in my room with a serious but nervous look. His chess confidence greatly improved this year, but as twelve students began to assume their positions, I detected a bit of regret at his project choice. I almost told him to take his coat off to relax a bit, but he was anxious to begin.
|The Colle-Zuckertort Opening strives to create a strong defense before attacking. The attack options include getting the f-knight to e5 or advancing a pawn down the c-file.|
The Scotch Gambit
Tyler's favorite chess video:
|Can you find a royal fork?|
Afterwards he commented that "it became so confusing to remember plans for each of the games." He ended the simul with 6 wins and 6 losses. A very respectable result. I am going to have him annotate a game this next week to complete the work.