Chess Merit Badge
Activity Guide for Patrol Leaders
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Chess Merit Badge C) Prerequisites - Scouts
Work to be done prior to program start:

ChessMerit Badge D) Study Hall

The purpose of this section is to facilitate an opportunity for scouts to research and learn about key concepts relevant to this subject. They need to be prepared to explain these to the counselor.

While some scouts may be adept at self-study, others may do better in a small group setting and taking notes on worksheets. You can facilitate discussion by asking them why each of the principles intruduced here would be relevant.

This session can also get them started on Game Activities.

    Req #1: History of Chess
    Discuss with your merit badge counselor the history of the game of chess. Explain why it is considered a game of planning and strategy. Discuss with your merit badge counselor the following:

    Req #2: Chess Sportsmanship

      a. The benefits of playing chess, including developing critical thinking skills, concentration skills, and decision-making skills, and how these skills can help you in other areas of your life
      b. Sportsmanship and chess etiquette

    Req #4: Chess Scorekeeping

    Do the following:

      a. Demonstrate scorekeeping using the algebraic system of chess notation. (Large Diagram Here - Courtesy Wikipedia)
      b. Discuss the differences between the opening, the middle game, and the endgame.
      c. Explain four opening principles.
      d. Explain the four rules for castling.
      e. On a chessboard, demonstrate a "scholar's mate" and a "fool's mate."
      f. Demonstrate on a chessboard four ways a chess game can end in a draw.

    Chess Merit Badge Req #5: Chess Strategy

    Do the following:

      a. Explain four of the following elements of chess strategy: exploiting weaknesses, force, king safety, pawn structure, space, tempo, time.
      b. Explain any five of these chess tactics: clearance sacrifice, decoy, discovered attack, double attack, fork, interposing, overloading, overprotecting, pin, remove the defender, skewer, zwischenzug.
      c. Set up a chessboard with the white king on e1, the white rooks on a1 and h1, and the black king on e5. With White to move first, demonstrate how to force checkmate on the black king.
      d. Set up and solve five direct-mate problems provided by your merit badge counselor.


Chess Merit Badge E) Patrol Activity

Req #3: EDGE Teach Chess to Another -

Demonstrate to your counselor that you know each of the following. Then, using Scouting’s Teaching EDGE*, teach someone (preferably another Scout) who does not know how to play chess:

    a. The name of each chess piece
    b. How to set up a chessboard
    c. How each chess piece moves, including castling and en passant captures
    You may learn about Scouting’s Teaching EDGE from your unit leader, another Scout, or by attending training.

Req #6: Tournament Play -

Do ONE of the following: Chess Merit Badge

    a. Play at least three games of chess with other Scouts and/or your merit badge counselor. Replay the games from your score sheets and discuss with your counselor how you might have played each game differently.
    b. Play in a scholastic (youth) chess tournament and use your score sheets from that tournament to replay your games with your merit badge counselor. Discuss with your counselor how you might have played each game differently.
    c. Organize and run a chess tournament with at least four players, plus you. Have each competitor play at least two games.

H) Extra Credit

J) Chess Famous Quotes:

    Judit Polgar - I like to play against people who are alive :) - ( In response to the question: "Which of the great dead players would you like to play?")
    Georgy Rimsky-Korsakov (classmate) - I remember our class working on algebra. All the boys were quiet ... Suddenly Alekhine stood up excitedly, his face radiant ..."Well, Alekhine, did you solve it?' teacher Bachinsky asked him. "I did ... I sacrifice the knight, and the bishop moves ... And White wins!". -
    Bill Hartston - Chess is a contributor to net human unhappiness, since the pleasure of victory is greatly exceeded by the pain of defeat. -
    Woody Allen - I failed to make the chess team because of my height. -
    - There are a lot more on -

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