Chess Merit Badge
Activity Guide for Patrol Leaders
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    Chess Merit Badge

    Aids for the Boy-Led Scout Troop
    Chess Merit Badge is newly created in 2011, but very popular. It originates from 6th-century India.

    A core element of this program is Chess game activities and competition.

    Sample Activity Plan

    Since the main idea here is to enjoy a fun game of chess, it seems like a pretty good idea to make each activity night part study and part game. (Per Req #6a, the scout must play 3 games of chess.)


    Chess Merit Badge A) Make Your Plan
    The Trail to Adventure Fun!

      1. Merit Badge Activity Preview

      2. Sample Plan Outline
      Note: This Plan is a Draft - Some dates, events and activities may change after reviewing it with your leaders.

      • Make draft of Event Flyer (See Example Here).
      • Each Participant to be notified that he needs:
      • Event Dates / Places / Dress Code / Supplies / Etc.
      • Pre-requisites (ie worksheet, blue card, research materials)

      3. Meet the Merit Badge Counselor
      Review your plan with the merit badge counselor. Some activities require his advance approval. The Scoutmaster should be able to recommend a counselor to you.

      4. Patrol Leader Council
      Present Activity Proposal to your fellow patrol leaders and scoutmaster. Make assignments as needed. Chess Merit Badge

      5. Optional Chess Resources
      Many resources include:

      6. Announce & Start Activity

      • Get final approval from your scoutmaster.
      • Update event flyer (#2) above.
      • Distribute event flyer / Begin Introduction


    B) Introduction
    Present the plan to your patrol or troop (Either at your first activity meeting or sometime earlier.)

      Here are some ideas to show why this activity will be both fun and important.

      Chess is a two-player strategy board game played on a chessboard, a checkered gameboard with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid. Chess is played by millions of people worldwide in homes, urban parks, clubs, online, correspondence, and in tournaments. In 2011, Chess was added as a BSA Merit Badge.

      Show on Laptop or portable TV & crank up the sound! Speed Chess - Can you play this good?


    C) Study Hall / Game Nite #1

    Purpose: Help each Patrol Member learn key concepts on this subject. Include the following resources:

      Chess Merit Badge PowerPoint

      Joseph L. Bell prepared a number of really good PowerPoint presentations for the Chess Merit Badge. Download for use with a laptop and bigscreen display.


        Req 2: Benefits of Chess
        Req 1: History of Chess
        Req 3: Chess Game Setup & Rules
        Req 4a: Scorekeeping & Algebraic Notation
        Req 5D: Classic Chess Problems

        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.

        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 #3: Chess Demonstration

          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

        1st Game Challenge


          6a. 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.


    D) Study Hall / Game Nite #2

    Purpose: Help each Patrol Member learn key concepts on this subject. Include the following resources:

      Req #4: Chess Scorekeeping


        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


        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.

      2nd Game Challenge


        6a. 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.

    .


    Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge E) Final Presentation / 3rd Game Nite

      A work session to finish completion of this merit badge worksheet. Review your gameplay and progress with the counselor.

      3rd Game Challenge


        6a. 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.

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    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 ChessQuotes.com -

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