Hello Learners Chess Parents and Friends!

Happy Thanksgiving! We hope you all have a warm place to celebrate with loved ones!

We have recently decided to re-introduce a component of our updates that we used to have: Interesting articles about chess positions, tactics, and puzzles that can supplement our chess curriculum.
Today's is a great one, especially if your kids will be hanging out with relatives with whom they can play chess.

Also, below we have updates and reminders about:
  • Our Winter Break Chess Camps
  • Registration for our Spring After school programs
  • Upcoming tournaments in December 
  • Registration for our Central NM Team Chess League tournament
  • Results from this past weekend's tournament. 
  • Ways to support Learners Chess including shopping online and/or ordering chess equipment!


Coach Victor Lopez
A fun kind of chess puzzle: The Chess Maze!

Below we have a chess maze. It is not a legal chess position, as there is only one white piece but it is a very useful exercise for all levels of chess players and lovers of puzzles. The objective of a chess maze is to use this white piece to navigate the board, one move at a time, until it puts the black king in check from a safe square (a square not attacked by any opponents' pieces).  

Here (below), you can see all of the squares that are not safe because they are attacked by opposing pieces. And another view of it, shows with circles, all of the white squares that are safe.
And here (below) you can see the safest path for the bishop to navigate the board to put the black king in check.
Here are a handful of mazes borrowed from Bruce Alberston's book, Chess Mazes. Feel free to print them out and work through them with your kids or give them to your kids to work on. They really help in chess with board vision and overall with planning and other aspects of cognitive development. Correctly solved mazes may be submitted to our coaches for piece prizes during chess club or chess camp. 

A few tips:
  1. You can capture pieces if necessary and the square is safe.
  2. Remember, the objective is to find the fastest safe path for the given white piece to put the black king in check!
  3. As with many other goals in life, sometimes it helps to work backwards. So start from the king and find potential target squares, that is, squares where the piece will end up on to give the king check and then work backwards finding safe squares until you get back to the square where the piece started, and that will reveal the safest path that piece can take to reach it's goal of putting the king in check. 
  4. It helps to set up the position on a chess board, even if it is just a pocket on and work through it that way. 
We hope you and your kids can enjoy them and many games of chess with your kids over the Thanksgiving Holiday!

Winter Break Single Day Chess Camps

Who: All chess Learners (beginners to advanced players) are welcome!

When: Half days (8:30am-noon or 1pm-4:30pm) of Full days (8:30am-4:30pm) with before and after care available! 

Cost: Sign up early to get the best price! Full day prices range from $32 per day to $45 per day and half days range from $18 to $30 per day, depending on how early you sign up! Also 10% off for siblings and 10% off for multiple days!

Where: Our headquarters at 532 Adams NE, Albuquerque (near Washington and Lomas). 

Space is filling up, sign up soon to reserve your spot!

Registration for Spring 2017
Before/ After School Programs is

We will start our Spring 2017 programs on the Thursday after the MLK Holiday. Some of our Fall 2016 programs that will still need a few club meetings to get up to 12 total will meet in the first couple of weeks of January. 
Register by December 9th and use coupon code " spring2017early" and get $5 off!

Some of your kids are already registered and paid for our Spring 2017 before/after school programs. If this is true for you, you will soon receive an email confirming that registration. 

Central NM Team Chess League Regional Tournaments!

For those of your kids in our current after school programs, here is the link with information and registration for our early December regional team tournaments. 

Registration for these tournaments is free! 

This will be a very fun tournament! We have a section for the top players in each school and a Reserve section for all levels of chess players. 
    Holiday Chess and  Bughouse Tournaments!
(Sunday afternoon, December 18th)
  • Chess is from 1:25-4:30pm (usually ends early). Games are USCF rated, sign up for membership at uschess.org. Clocks are set for 25 minutes with a 5 second delay. Notation required for 3rd grade and up.
  • Bughouse is 4:30-5:40pm
    New Years Chess and  Bughouse Tournaments
(Saturday Morning, Dec. 31st)!
  • Chess is from 9:25-12:30pm (usually ends early). Games are USCF rated, sign up for membership at uschess.org. Clocks are set for 25 minutes with a 5 second delay. Notation required for 3rd grade and up.
  • Bughouse is 12:30pm-1:35pm
Results from our November 20th Tournament

Here are the results from last Sunday's chess tournament.
Congrats to Levi Ackerman and Philip Bosin for tying for first place in the top section!

Also, here are the results from our bughosue tournament.

Remember, you can always go to our tournament results archive page to get results from all of our previous events!
  Chess Practice Online!
Learn and Brush Up on The Basics
Here is a link to easy interactive chess exercises for your kids to learn or brush up on the basics .

Both these links come from the free and open sourced chess website, lichess.org. The site is free and has no ads. You can create an account for free and set it to "kid mode" for your kids to play on without you having to constantly monitor.
Support Learners Chess!
Get your Holiday Shopping Started and Support Learners Chess!
  • Shop on AmazonSmile! Use this link to make any purchase you would normally make on amazon and amazon smile will donate 1% of your purchase to Learners Chess Academy!

  • Order Chess Equipment! If you are shopping for chess equipment, you can use this link to purchase any chess equipment at a very reasonable price from wholesale chess (sponsors of Learners Without Borders!) and 10% of your purchase will be credited to our account!

  • Go Solar! If you are interested in going solar, you can use this link to schedule a free consultation and if you end up going solar, Learners Chess will receive a $200 donation!

  • Designate Vaya Verde dba Learners Chess Academy as a recipient in your work place giving campaign through United Way
  • Or make a donation to support our need-based scholarship fund and other charitable projects such as Learners Without Borders and the Central NM Team Chess League!
Thank you for reading and staying connected!]

Have a happy Thanksgiving weekend!

-Coach Victor Lopez and the coaching team at Learners Chess
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