We are delighted to announce that there will be special showing of Magnus for those attending the London Chess Festival (including the Conference and the London Chess Classic). The film is being shown at the Bertha DocHouse, the home of documentary based inside the Curzon Bloomsbury. The film will be shown on Sunday 11th December at 8.30pm.
Magnus is a delightful documentary following the emergence of the greatest chess champion of modern times, Magnus Carlsen. Watch the TRAILER.
The film lasts one hour and 18 minutes. The adverts at the Bertha are short so you should be away by 10pm. Even if you know the story of Magnus (and who in the chess world does not) there are some new images and videos from Magnus’s childhood which are worth seeing.
The Bertha DocHouse has a bar on each level of the cinema; the one on the ground floor is a nice meeting area, comfy sofas etc. Travelling to the cinema by public transport from Olympia, go to Hammersmith (bus or walk) and then take the Piccadilly Line to Russell Square, the nearest tube stop.
To book tickets directly BOOK HERE (go to non-members on the left)
There is a concessionary rate available (£7 instead of £9) for advanced group bookings provided you email Agnieszka by Friday 9th December. The cinema only has 55 seats and may get full. You must go via Agnieska to get the concessionary rate – you cannot obtain this deal by booking direct.
We want to encourage the adoption of new teaching ideas that can be used in the classroom. Each year the conference promotes the development of chess education through a prize competition. The prospect of a reward may tempt you to submit an entry. The first prize is €500 with second and third prizes are €300 and €200 respectively, generously sponsored by the European Chess Union. The objective is to devise an original chess exercise involving collaborative problem solving. The competition is open to everyone.
We want exercises in which children must work together to solve a problem. There is no template or standard problem – it is up to your imagination. We are aware that many chess tutors already use group exercises with children. It may just be a matter of writing down what it is that you do. The answer is that it should be something that you have devised yourself or adapted from another format.
The exercise must involve children working together as a pair, a table or the whole class. It is essential that they interact with each other in solving the problem. It is necessary for the children to exchange information with each other about the problem.
So what type of problems are we looking for? We are completely open and flexible; there is no standard format. However, a standard chess problem (e.g. of the form “White to play and checkmate”) will not succeed if it means children work individually. There must be something about the problem so that the children must work together towards a wider objective.
Exercises will typically involve exploring and solving a structured problem where children organise themselves to conduct a number of tasks. Fruitful areas concern construction and decomposition tasks. In a construction task, the aim is to create an arrangement, for example, a chess position. Can the problem be decomposed into several parts? If so, then can the children work on these separately?
A route-finding example is the traditional knight’s tour which involves moving a knight around the board so that it covers all of the squares without landing on the same square twice. Solving the tour in practice requires placing counters on each square on which the knight lands. Several roles emerge: for example, moving the knight, pointing out the next square, placing the counter, counting the unoccupied squares at the end (the team with the fewest unoccupied squares is the winner). More advanced teams could be given several rules to test e.g. clockwise, edge-hugging etc. which can be worked on separately.
The deadline for submissions is Sunday 4 December 2016 at 5pm London time.
“Should chess instruction in schools differ from traditional chess instruction and, if so, how?” This question of great relevance to this year’s conference is considered by Dr Teresa Parr in a recent blog post. Highly recommended!
Do we want to nurture chessplayers who are intrinsically motivated, challenge-loving learners, or who cower in the steely grip of performance anxiety? Research into motivation provides us with compelling evidence that the dominant educational orthodoxy of praise-based self-esteem brings with it great risks, whereas a counter-intuitive emphasis on praise-lite, process-heavy feedback brings far richer rewards. Barry’s sessions will sketch out both the theory and the significant practical implications for chess coaches.
Dr Barry Hymer is Professor of Psychology in Education at the University of Cumbria in Lancaster.
Barry has been interpreting and researching learning theory as it relates to classroom practice since he became a professional educator in 1983. Over this period he has acquired extensive experience in schools, initially as a primary and secondary school teacher, subsequently as an educational psychologist and since 2004 as an independent consultant, academic and researcher. Having invested his “10 000 hours of purposeful practice”, he has an international reputation as an engaging and highly effective communicator
Barry has particular interests and expertise in the related areas of motivation, mindset, talent development and independent learning. Barry has toured with Prof Carol Dweck, originator of mindset theory, during the summers of 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2016, speaking at packed conferences in England and abroad. Barry has created and leads the Osiris Mindset Programme – a one-year intervention aimed at introducing and embedding growth mindset practices in schools. His most recent books are the bestsellingGrowth Mindset Pocketbook (Hymer & Gershon, 2014), and Learning Teaching: Becoming an inspirational teacher(with Pete Boyd & Karen Lockney, 2015) – described by Prof John Hattie of Melbourne University as “The perfect book for those who want to make the most of their opportunity to enhance students’ brain power.”
A fixed mindset killed Barry’s own engagement in chess. Barry was a keen chessplayer in his youth (winning South African junior and senior provincial colours) and is again in his more enlightened late middle-age. In the intervening 30 years he avoided the game, having come to believe that he’d reached a mediocre peak at 22 years of age and was unlikely to improve further. He is belatedly putting the fruits of his professional learning to the test in his own re-engagement in the game.
For the third year in a row, we will be running a competition during the Conference. In 2014, the subject was designing a game played on a chessboard. The competition was won by Tatyana Ogneva with her game called “Football chess”; Tatyana took home the £500 prize. Last year, we held a Social Entrepreneur Bootcamp together with a competition for the best social chess project, judged by experienced executives. Luis Blasco, who uses chess to work with children suffering from ADHD, earned £500 for his enterprise “Ajedrez y TDAH”.
We are delighted that this year’s Conference will also feature a competition, and thanks to sponsorship from the European Chess Union the prize fund has been increased to €1,000. The task this year is to come up with the best original classroom chess exercise. There is only one rule: the exercise must involve collaborative problem solving.
The 4th London Chess Conference will take place at the Hilton Olympia on 10, 11 and 12 December. For the first time we will be able to hold a three-day gathering.
This year’s main theme will be The Didactics of Chess. We are planning talks, workshops, discussion sessions, panels, presentations and other contributions on different ways of teaching chess, especially in a classroom environment.
The last three editions firmly established the London Chess Conference as the world’s foremost professional gathering of people interested in the impact of chess (and strategy games generally) on education, and how it can be a force for good in society. Amongst the contributors attracted to London each year there are leading chess education practitioners and researchers, academics working in the field, educational software authors, executives of non-profit chess organisations, journalists, authors, teachers, headteachers, politicians and others.
We organise the conference but we do not make it work. It is the profile of attendees and the quality of their contributions that define this excellence. Let us make the fourth edition the finest one yet.
If you have not yet registered, please do. If you would like to contribute, please contact us as soon as possible on email@example.com. We invite submissions on all aspects of the principal theme. Here is but a small set of suggestions:
Using Chess in Primary School Mathematics
Promoting Metacognition through Chess
Teaching Chess together with other Strategy Games
Chess for Disadvantaged Students
Training Teachers to Teach Chess
Certification for Quality Chess Instruction
Lobbying for Chess in the Education Community
Evaluating Chess in Education Projects
From School Chess to Junior Chess
Raising Chess Talent
Business Models in Chess Teaching
Chess in Libraries, Science Centres and other Informal Settings
The fourth edition of the London Chess and Education Conference will take place on 10-11 December 2016 at the Hilton Kensington Olympia. As usual it coincides with the first weekend of the London Chess Classic held at the Olympia Conference Centre. The theme of the Conference is “The Didactics of Chess”. The event is supported by Chess in Schools and Communities.
When studies on school chess are claimed to have a positive effect, it is no big deal. Very few interventions in school show no effect or a negative effect. Size matters. On the average, the effect size of an educational intervention in school is 0,4. An effect size above 0,4 is therefore seen as a desirable outcome. This has been established in a synthesis of more than 800 metaanalyses of studies on educational interventions directed by John Hattie from the University of Auckland in his seminal “Visible Learning” (2009).
Giovanni Sala and Fernand Gobet (pictured above at our 2013 conference) from the University of Liverpool have picked up Hattie´s challenge and conducted the first real metaanalysis of studies on chess in school. According to seven criteria they included 24 studies based on more than 5000 students in the experimental and control groups. They found an average effect size of 0,338. It was less in reading abilities and slightly bigger in maths abilities, but smaller than Hattie´s treshold of 0,4. However, after excluding studies with less than 25 hours of chess Sala and Gobet found an average effect size of 0,428, which is quite satisfiable.
As Sala pointed out in his presentation at the conference, none of the studies reached the highest methodological standard of comparing chess not only with no intervention but also with another intervention. Their metaanalysis has been accepted and will soon be published by a journal. We are delighted that they gave us permission to publish a preprint version. If you want to quote it, please contact Giovanni.Sala@liv.ac.uk for an updated reference.