This manual differs from other beginning chess books available in the United States. This is the “Russian way” of teaching Chess to young children. It is not an arbitrary method but the result of decades of research. “Chess Gymnasium” introduces each concept slowly, but with depth. We do not attempt to have students play legal games against each other as soon as possible, but rather to use the very process of learning the rules as a teaching tool. This is important, and what makes this manual different from others. For this reason, two lessons are devoted to each piece. Besides simply learning how each piece moves, the students solve various problems with each piece before they have learned all the rules of chess. Along the way, particularly close attention is given to the geometry of the chess board itself.
The ultimate goal of chess—checkmate—is not introduced until Lesson 21! After learning the material in this book, students will know all of the rules. However, we can say that they will gain much more, and have a much more solid foundation in chess, than if they had been taught the rules as quickly as possible without discretion.
This book is designed to be used by any adult who wishes to teach chess to a child. You do not need to know anything about chess! Thus it can be used by a master who is teaching chess in a classroom, or by a classroom teacher who knows no more about chess than the children. It can also be used by parents who wish to teach their children chess at home.