Chess Club

Chess Club 2019-20

The Raintree Chess Club is designed to encourage students at Raintree to learn to play chess as a way of increasing the following skills.

  • Play a complex game following KSCA tournament rules;
  • Develop and execute a plan;
  • Impulse control, patience, focus, and tenacity;
  • Find and evaluate multiple options;
  • Using mistakes and losses to learn and become stronger;
  • Win with grace and lose with dignity;
  • Improve visual memory and use that to solve problems;
  • Social skills in a friendly competitive setting;
  • Using competition for self-improvement rather than defeating others;

This year’s Chess Club will meet on Wednesdays at 4:00 in the covered area at the South end of the classrooms for snacks.  All kids must wash their hands after snacks before getting materials and playing chess.  The fifth grade and older chess players will be asked to help set up the area as we enter Laura’s and Kathy’s rooms.  Tournament players are expected to use this time for serious practice with clocks and to record their moves.  Please pick up your child by 5:00 or let us know who goes to Late PM. When you pick up your child, make sure they have checked out and put away their materials.

We encourage parents to join us when you are able. If you play chess, great, if not, you can help with group management, snacks, and cleanup. Ask kids why they made moves to encourage conversation about the reasoning behind the moves. Also you can ask what their plan is, so that they remember they should have a plan. All you need to do is listen.

All students K-3 and others who request it, will have basic access to the online program ChessKid. This is a powerful teaching and practice tool designed for kids. Spending some time each week practicing online is a good way to improve each child’s play to a level that will allow them to achieve the skills listed above. It is essential to becoming a competitive tournament player. I do monitor the kids progress and make suggestions online to those that make use of this tool. For experienced 4th Grade and up, I like to work with It is a powerful analysis tool for improving your chess game. The free version will allow your child to work three puzzles and tactics every day. Upgrade to the $35/year version and they can connect to one or more of the Raintree coaches and get unlimited access. is another good resource.

Our goal this year for the K-3 and K-5 Tournament players is to develop the skills of our already strong team to a level that can bring home a trophy from the State Tournament in Emporia this March.  Although we have a strong team, there are several strong teams in the state this year, so it will take hard work on the part of our players. Tournament players are asked to use online Chess sites ChessKid and ChessTempo to study on a regular basis. Please remember that tournament play is not required, we are here for all levels of interest.

Our plan for chess club for the 2019-20 school year includes the following changes:

  • We will meet on Wednesdays after school from 4:00 to 5:00;
  • Snacks will continue to be eaten outside, weather permitting, but will be available from 3:45 to 4:00;
  • We will be increasing instruction on recording of games and personal game analysis;
  • Our new chess coach, Andrew Bledsoe, is a certified USCF tournament director. He will be available to provide additional private lessons at an additional cost.
  • We will continue to provide beginning instruction and encourage advancement of skills for both recreational players and tournament players.

Please advise us of your plans concerning chess club when you know what they are. This will help us plan. Thank you for a great year.

The price of chess club this semester is $100. This will cover:

  • Increased  payment to coaches,
  • Payment to two youth helpers,
  • A supply and equipment budget, and 
  • Tuition support if any family needs it  – contact Coach Paden.

Checks made out to the Raintree Chess Club may be left at the Raintree office or brought to chess club.

Chess Permission/Enrollment Form • 2019