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Introduction and first question (Chess)




Hello, one of my many jobs in the real world is teaching elementary and middle school students the joy of chess. This blog is for some assistance in teaching my students with some friendly input. Please, keep this serious and not include CN drama. I believe Chess is a great and amazing game that really does help some students preform better and even assists students with certain mental and social issues become more integrated.

So, I have been in this program (based in Chicago, however I work in Wisconsin schools) Chess Scholars for almost a year now (11months to be exact) and this session will be my first session with middle school students. So anyone who is an avid player of chess or simply knows the game pretty well your help would be greatly appreciated. So without further procrastination here is my first question!

#1. For middle school students at a beginner & intermediate level what would you suggest is a good opening for both black and white (please state the top 3. if possible even give some reason why) I have my own ideas but would love to receive some outside perspective.

EDIT: for the 3 white openings please if possible show 3 black opening which defend against the white openings.



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I've casually played King's Indian openings, alongside Benko's and Larsen's. I don't have the time/skill to focus on highly developed opening theory, so I deliberately focus on flexible strategies. Younger players seem to have a harder time defending against flanchetto bishops, which isn't surprising since most people are taught open game tactics first at a beginner level.

I personally make too many mid-game blunders to fully exploit this approach, but it's fun to play, especially against people unprepared to face it. Best played conservatively, imo, to avoid overplaying and let opponents stretch themselves in the middle.

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2020 USCF and a bit of teaching experience, so take this FWIW.

1.e4 e5 is the golden standard of beginner openings. King pawn and open games use a lot of the "classical" concepts taught to early players: occupying the center with pawns, developing one's pieces, castling early... etc. The moves follow naturally (i.e. 2. Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d4).

Honestly though, openings for younger/beginner players generally don't matter nearly as much as teaching the proper opening concepts. It doesn't matter if a beginner can rattle off 10 moves of theory if they don't understand the resulting position. Just teach players how to get into an open, acceptable position and go from there.

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that's what I am aiming for, I want them to find an opening they enjoy out of let's say a basic 3 and have them immerse their games around that opening, looking for variations in it and how to convert it to a good middle and end game. it's not to just blow them away with 30 openings just one they can enjoy and explore

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